Knowing the Difference of Public Lawyer and Private Attorney


When someone is facing criminal charges, he or she has many important decisions to create. She or he must consider whether to plead guilty or not guilty. He/she must decide whether to take a punishment recommended by a prosecutor. Maybe the most crucial decision is who he or she should use as a lawyer.

A criminal defendant normally has two principal alternatives: a public defender or a private lawyer. There are pros and cons of either determination. He or she must carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages before making a final decision.

Attorneys in private practice represent individuals or firms. Those in public service (government) represent or counsel federal, state or local government agencies and officials. Public interest attorneys work on behalf of organizations and/or causes, or on behalf of people who cannot afford private lawyers (generally in legal aid or legal services organizations). Some public interest attorneys are employed by the government to represent indigent criminal defendant’s public defenders.

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Differences Between Private Attorney and Public Defender

What are the top 3 differences between a Private lawyer along with a public defender?

  1. Free vs. Lot of $
  2. No selection vs. Selection
  3. Limited attention vs. Personal focus

Free vs. Lot of $

The PD is for the poor. There are lots of good PDs. But, there is a perception in the criminal justice system that affluent people go free while the poor go to prison. Private criminal lawyers charge a lot of money. Why? Wisdom, years of experience, time to dedicate to your criminal case, someone personally dedicated to your independence, a select few are board certified specialists in criminal trial law.

No pick vs. Pick

You don’t get to choose who your public defender is. With a private attorney, so long as you have enough cash, you can pick who you wish to represent you. With choice comes continuity. Public defenders transfer to different divisions continuously. With a private lawyer, you’ll have the same criminal defense lawyer protecting your liberty.

Limited Attention vs Personal Focus

Public defenders may have hundreds of cases. They are overworked and underpaid. A private attorney has fewer clients. You’ll get more personal attention and access with a private criminal lawyer. You might not even meet your public defender until you go to court. A private lawyer will meet with you, discuss strategy to win your case, get his investigator to interview witnesses, get graphics and video and give your case the personalized attention it deserves.

Public Defenders Are Not Free

Not all applicants qualify for a public defender. Those folks found to be indigent (and entitled to appointed counsel) soon realize that the professional services of a public defender are not free. In case you plead guilty, no contest, or are later convicted after trial, the court will frequently order you to pay attorney fees as part of your sentence. This practice is applied to reimburse the public for the services of your appointed counsel.

Advantages of Hiring a Public Defender

A public defender is appointed to defendants who can’t afford to hire a private attorney and who requests one to be named. Therefore, the defendant doesn’t have to pay for his or her lawyer, which can otherwise be very costly.

Public defenders are conversant with a variety of criminal cases and normally have expertise working on criminal cases. They work with prosecutors normally and may have a better relationship with them that can help get plea agreements through.

Disadvantages of Hiring a Public Defender

Public defenders are governmental employees. As such, they usually make substantially less than private lawyers. Since so many folks are unable to afford to hire a lawyer for their criminal defense, they frequently have large caseloads. It really is common for public defenders to be overworked and underpaid. These dynamics can ensure it is so that they might make mistakes with cases or not have as much time to prepare.

Disadvantages of Hiring a Private Lawyer

For lots of individuals, the only disadvantage of hiring a private attorney is having to cover their services. This could sometimes be a substantial amount especially if the case is serious. But, the advantages of hiring a private lawyer often far outweigh the disadvantage of needing to cover the services he or she provides.

Advantages of Hiring a Private Attorney

Private attorneys usually do not have nearly as many cases as public defenders. This enables them to have more one on one time with customers. This time could be used to get better acquainted with the defendant and to uncover information that may assist the defense. This allows a private attorney to find weaknesses in the prosecution’s case that could help the lawyer get the case dismissed or in having the charges reduced.

So, it really all comes down to time. Quality private lawyers typically have a whole lot more limited caseloads and may commit significantly additional time to individual clients and their specific facts and needs; therefore, achieving exceptional results. However, the Public Defender is a great alternative when money is too tight to think about hiring a quality private solicitor.