Public Defender vs Criminal Lawyer | Pros and Cons of Each Criminal Attorney

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When a person is charged with a crime, he or she is obligated to make a lot of quick decisions. Whether or not they should plead guilty, being the first one. Following that, they are required to make a very important decision: Should I go with a Public Defender or hire a Criminal lawyer?

A public defender is appointed to the defendant by the court. It’s important to note that not everyone is eligible to avail of this service. If you are in a position where you cannot afford to hire an attorney, only then you are entitled to a public defender.

To hire a public defender you are required to fill out a financial affidavit explaining your financial situation. The affidavit is then reviewed by the judge and if you qualify, a public defender is appointed on your case. It’s important to note that if you are employed you are not eligible for the services of the public defender’s office.

A criminal lawyer in Maryland or a Baltimore private defense attorney is someone the defendant or his family members hire. Unlike a public defender, where you are appointed an attorney by the court, you have the liberty to choose whom you want to work with and fire them if need be or hire another attorney.

Each type of defense attorney has pros and cons. Let’s understand each of them in detail so you can be prepared for your case.

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Pros: Public Defender

witnesses during a criminal trialA public defender is appointed to people who aren’t in a financial position to hire a private attorney. Hiring a Maryland private attorney can sometimes be a stress on the pocket, and so the option of opting for a public defender is a huge pro.

Public defenders, in comparison to private attorneys, work a lot more cases. Having worked on a variety of cases, they are well versed with the operations, such as better relations with the prosecutors.

This can get things done quickly. But this is an advantage in limited situations as most public defenders have a big workload and can’t allow much time for each case, increasing the time spent individually.

Cons: Public Defender

Compromised communication is the biggest disadvantage of hiring a public defender. Oftentimes a public defender has a huge workload, which leaves little to no space for them to have a detailed discussion about the case with the accused.

Consequently, in most cases, the accused will only be able to speak with the public defender before they enter a plea. Also, due to the heavy workload, the defender hardly finds time to formulate a strong legal defense. This means you miss out on the possible reduced impact of conviction which you could’ve received if you hired a private criminal defense attorney.

As mentioned earlier, public defenders serve those who are unable to pay for an attorney. Since they are government employees they earn significantly less than a private criminal lawyer in Maryland. They are often underpaid and overworked.

Also, the fact that they aren’t privately hired or their reputation is not entirely at stake, they are loose on the accountability front. For example, making mistakes on a case because they didn’t pay much attention to preparing it.

It’s not ideal to have a compromised case and therefore a private criminal defense attorney is a much better choice in this regard.

Pros: Private Criminal Lawyer in Maryland

dui attorneyA private attorney has control over his or her workload, which means they are free to take as many or as few cases as they choose.

Owing to this, they can dedicate enough time to each case, communicate with the accused on details of the crime and case, and make sure that the client is informed of all aspects of the hearing in advance. Additional and better communication ensures that the attorney has enough time to find the weakness in the case that will help in either reducing or dismissing the charges.

Since you are paying for a private criminal attorney, they will be accountable and provide you with multiple resources to maintain their reputation and provide the best possible service. Private defense attorneys are quick to respond to any doubts or concerns, like replying to emails promptly or attending calls outside of office hours or even giving you a private phone number to maintain convenience.

Not just that, since the case is not financially restricted, multiple resources can be utilized. Private laboratories can be hired to test the evidence, private investigators can help uncover previously unrealized evidence about the case, and expert witnesses can be hired to explain important aspects of the case. Private criminal lawyers in Baltimore also often have a team of paralegals and associates, meaning your case is much better served than a public defender would.

You can select who gets to handle your case. You can contact a lawyer simply over a call or by visiting a website. Further, you can schedule a meeting wherein you meet the attorney in person and decide for yourself whether you want them to handle your case or not. You don’t have to settle on a lawyer very quick either, you can consider a few professionals and go with the one you find best. This is why Baltimore criminal defense attorneys offer free consults, so you can find the perfect match for your care. 

This way lawyers are obligated to provide quality services as their reputation is at stake, unlike public defenders where you can’t be sure of whether the person appointed is good or not.

Cons: Private Criminal Lawyer

The only disadvantage most people consider with a private lawyer is having to pay for the services. Depending on the case, the charges can be significant, to some.

Though that’s the case, the benefits easily outweigh the cost. And with matters of such sensitivity, it’s always better to consider the benefits that a private criminal lawyer provides — the cost is often an investment in quality outcomes.

In conclusion

It’s effortlessly clear, a private defense attorney in Baltimore is always better than a public defendant. To support the statement, here’s a fact: In a study, it was found that people represented by a public defendant are more likely to serve jail time than a private attorney.

If you find yourself needing a criminal lawyer in the future, you know who to contact. 

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