In many cases across the state of California, a criminal defendant will be faced with the decision of accepting a public defender. There are pros and cons of having a public defender, but in many cases it really does pay to have your own private attorney to handle your criminal case. Today we will share the differences between a public defender and a private attorney, and how they differ from one another.

A “real” lawyer?

Many people are under the impression that a public defender is not a “real” lawyer. The answer to this may surprise you if you were under that impression: Public defenders are real attorneys who went to law school and passed their state Bar exams, just like private attorneys. Some people believe that public defenders will not work hard to get you the best results, but this is not true: The statistics show that around 76% of public defender clients were convicted, with 74% private counsel clients being convicted.

Drawbacks and Advantages 

Public Defender: A public defender is someone who is appointed to your case by the court when a private attorney cannot be hired, usually due to monetary concerns. There are some disadvantages to hiring a public defender. They make less than private attorneys since they are hired by the government, which means that they are being hired to take on many cases and have huge caseloads. Because of this, it is a fact that they could make more mistakes in your case. They may have less time to meet with you as well. However, they are not costly and can still be effective since they have experience in these cases.

Private Attorney: There are also some disadvantages to hiring a private attorney. You have to pay for their services, which can become costly quickly. However, there are many more advantages to hiring one. For instance, they usually don’t have as many cases going on at once and can spend lots of one-on-one time with you. They may be able to use more resources to get you the best results and can be easy to get ahold of when you need them the most. You will personally select the private attorney that works best for you!

At The Law Office of Peter Blair, we have experience in criminal cases and can get you the results you are looking for in a variety of crimes, by using defenses and skills that private attorneys understand. Call us for information on how we can help you in your specific case, because no case is too big or too small!