Self-Representation, Public Defenders or a Private Attorneys: Which Option Is Best to Defend Criminal Charges?

Interviewer: Here’s a question:  Why hire an attorney to defend your charges as opposed to people representing themselves or having a public defender appointed for their defense?  Why would hiring a private attorney be more beneficial to them?

Public Defenders Typically Carry Heavy Caseloads

Jack O’Donnell: I never want to discredit the hardworking, intelligent people who are public defenders, but frequently they’re overburdened with cases.  People would like to feel that they can have full attention paid to their particular case. The full attention to their particular circumstances can be devoted to their case by a private attorney.

Private Attorneys Have More Time and Resources to Devote to Each Case

Although public defenders frequently are able to do that, many people feel that if they’re paying someone they have the right to come in and spend as much time as they need to familiarize the attorney with their situation. It is reassuring to have the attorney devote ample time to their case.  That’s not to say public defenders don’t do that or can’t do that, but many times private lawyers have less of a caseload and have more opportunity to devote to a case.

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