To continue with our discussion on “Choosing a Public Defender,” you should know that a public defender is not able to give you or your loved one the kind of time that would be available to you with a private lawyer. Public defenders are known to handle their clients in a fast-paced manner. There is also the matter of convenience. If you are being represented by a public defender, you may have to wait a long time before your case is heard. Private attorneys tend to receive priority in some courtrooms and can have their clients moved through at a convenient pace.
The public defender you work with should know all the standard offers given by the “People” in their assigned courtroom after the first month on the job. However, they are not always able to get the experience they need in a timely manner. So, keep in mind that making special deals, outside the “standard offer” for clients, is a function of time, experience, and skill.
A public defender does represent clients in trials. Private attorneys have fewer trials because they get cases with highly motivated clients because of the large expense of a trial. Also, before taking a case to trial, private attorneys take the time to go over the risks and benefits of a trial. Public Defenders are paid a fixed salary based on a grade set by the county. If you can’t afford an experienced and skilled private attorney, working with a public defender makes much more sense than going on your own.
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