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What is the Difference Between Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney or Using a Public Defender?

Many who have been charged with a criminal offense wonder why spend money on a private criminal defense attorney when a public defender can do the same thing at no cost. While a public defender can certainly represent someone accused of a crime, in most cases it's best to hire a criminal defense lawyer unless you absolutely cannot afford to.

Is a public defender associated in any way with the prosecution or state government? While they are paid by the local state government and therefore publicly funded, public defenders are not associated with the prosecution or government. In most cases public defenders are highly capable in the area of criminal law, however there are disadvantages, some of which we'll explain below.

The most obvious drawback to having a public defender represent a client in a criminal case is that most have extremely heavy caseloads, which means they do not have substantial time to devote to each case in order to secure the best possible result for the client.

Ultimately, those who are forced to use a public defender because they do not have the financial means to hire a criminal defense attorney usually do not get the personal attention they desire. Additionally, public defenders often do not have the time essential to provide the best possible legal representation as they cannot devote their full attention to a thorough investigation, collecting evidence, analyzing the case, and other aspects of the discovery and legal process because of the lack of time. This means that in the end, the alleged offender may be at a disadvantage due to the fact the public defender cannot mount an aggressive defense.

Most private criminal defense attorneys make certain their caseloads allow them the time necessary to provide outstanding legal counsel for each client. Although most people only know what they see on television which is often the defense lawyer arguing inside the courtroom, there is much more to it than that. Defense attorneys provide clients with legal guidance and instruct them regarding protecting their rights and avoiding further incrimination, investigate the allegations of wrong doing, work to find any evidence, witnesses, or experts who may be beneficial to the accused, determine various legal options that may be available to the client, and much more. It isn't simply a matter of walking into a courtroom and "flying by the seat of your pants" for criminal defense lawyers who are passionate about obtaining a positive outcome for the client.

Certainly, a public defender can be a great advocate for those who cannot afford to hire a criminal defense attorney. However, for those who can the benefits of hiring a private defense lawyer are immeasurable in terms of the client's freedom, career, future, and more.

Client Reviews

I would like thank my attorney Thomas Luka. I knew from the beginning I had the right guy in my corner. While celebrating with family and friends at a Public Park in Seminole County, a fight broke out among various people. Myself, and a good friend, broke up the fight and the instigators left. Six months later, I was wrongly accused as the person who started the fight. The first attorney I hired could not even get a response from the State Attorney handling the case. Someone referred me to Tom and I felt comfortable at his demeanor and reactions.

After conversations with Tom, who knew I would settle for nothing less than a FULL DISMISSAL due to my innocence, I hired him. His firm of Adams and Luka did the due diligence by interviewing witnesses and the police who were on the scene, as well as starting a dialogue with the State Attorney. After gathering statements from witnesses, Tom was able to present a strong argument on my behalf to the State Attorney on why the case should be dismissed. If the State Attorney was not willing to dismiss the case, Tom was ready to take the case to trial.

The result by Thomas Luka: Case Dismissed.

I am 53 years old with a spotless record and glad to keep it that way thanks to the time, effort, hard work, and professionalism of the Adams and Luka and Tom Luka.

Earl from Mesquite
Thomas Luka left a life-long great impression of lawyers. He was always professional, on time, and answered things honestly. From the start and during the 14 months it went on - Tom was very upfront and honest with me about the possible outcomes. The result was better than I had hoped for. Tom really over-delivered. HIGHLY RECOMMEND. Marcela Giorgi
Adams and Luka were very professional and savvy in the courtroom. When you're in court with Mr. Luka you will think you have the best attorney there. I recommend this law firm. Pioneer Tech
Rich Adams is an outstanding criminal attorney. I have had the opportunity to refer several friends and clients to his practice for handling of criminal matters, and on every occasion he has produced an excellent result. Rich practices with attention to detail, a thorough knowledge of the law, and a passion to defend his clients. I will continue to refer clients to Rich Adams, and would strongly recommend him for your legal needs. Brian Pink