Why You Shouldn’t Rely on a Public Defender for Your Defense

Why You Shouldn’t Rely on a Public Defender for Your Defense

Public defenders provide a critical service to the criminal justice system, representing those individuals who are unable to afford representation for their cases.

But is a public defender the right choice for you? Turns out, there are three key areas where hiring a public defender may put you at a disadvantage.

1. Heavy Caseload
It’s no secret that public defenders are overworked and underpaid. Some public defenders are inundated with cases, sometimes as many as 100-200 at a time. As you might imagine, it is nearly impossible to give any particular case much attention when they’re spread that thin.

2. Experience
Although there are many talented public defenders, you have no choice in who you are assigned. Given their caseload and a random mix of clients, public defenders don’t often have an area of specialization. When hiring a private law firm, you can choose to work with an attorney and/or law firm that specializes in the types of cases you’re facing.

3. Limited Resources
Criminal defense cases are complex, nuanced, and require exceptional attention to detail. They also involve intensive investigation in order to prepare the case for court. This can involve but is not limited to hiring experts to support the case. Something that is limited with public defenders who have to have each expense approved on a request-by-request basis.


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