A recent Washington Post article written by a public defender expresses her frustration as to why it’s impossible for her to do a good job for her clients. It’s a grim reality of the difficulties that many public defenders and court appointed attorneys face on a daily basis. It all comes down to one thing – money.
Let’s face it, when it comes to funding the criminal justice system, our society is quick to fund police, prosecutors, and any other cause that will result in more people going to prison for a longer time. But what really happens at the day to day level for publicly funded lawyers:
- Too many clients
- Less time to meet with the clients they have
- Less opportunity to investigate their clients’ cases
- Less ability to do their best for their clients
This indictment of the system is NOT an indictment of public defenders. Many are bright, hardworking, and care about their clients. To be very clear, this article IS a criticism of a system that does not fund both sides equally and still calls it a level playing field.
Is Hiring a Private Attorney the Way to Go?
One of the biggest decisions that someone charged with a crime has to make is whether to hire a criminal defense attorney. Whether someone is charged with a drug offense, a white collar crime, or a sex crime, that decision can have life lasting effects.
Perhaps the biggest difference that past clients have shared is the amount of time and attention that is put into defending a case. For me, my clients are people, not files, and I know that their cases is the most important thing in their life. Unfortunately, not everyone sees it the same.
Not All Criminal Defense Attorneys Are the Same
There are a large number of criminal defense attorneys and criminal defense law firms that, like public defenders, have very high caseloads. Sadly, they go through the motions and often don’t do much more than force a plea agreement upon their clients. They don’t have the excuse of limited time and funding, and instead, see their clients as dollar signs as opposed to people going through perhaps the most serious situation that they have ever dealt with. If given the choice of hiring this type of lawyer or going with a court-appointed lawyer, go with the court appointed. You’ll save your money and get the same if not a better outcome with the public defender.
Hiring the Right Criminal Defense Attorney
Everyone talks a good game, but hiring the right criminal defense lawyer for your case is a decision that can be streamlined by evaluating an attorney’s:
- Years of experience
- Dedication to practicing only one area of law
- Recent results
- Past client reviews
Our Phoenix criminal defense lawyer is dedicated to our clients and is focused on their goals. With over 20 years of experience under our belt, you can feel assured that you can trust our firm to represent your case.