A public defender or a private lawyer? Which one to choose? This decision depends upon various factors and requirements a defendant may have. To start, a public defender is a lawyer appointed by the court to the defendant for his/her defense whereas a private lawyer is a person hired by the defendant or his family for his/her defense.
The roles of these two personalities may seem similar but are a lot different. Both public defenders and private lawyers are appointed for the defense of the defendant but their efficiency differs. This is because a public defender who is paid by the government and available for all those who can’t afford a lawyer usually has a larger number of cases they have to handle in turn decreasing the efficiency whereas on the other hand, private lawyers are personally hired and have comparatively less number of cases and a larger team because of which they can work on every aspect of the case providing better results.
This doesn’t conclude anything; there are other things in the picture as well. A public defender generally has worked on various cases and may be well aware of the pros & cons of moves he makes in your case whereas the same might not be true for a private lawyer. Since a public defender is a government employee he might have frequent interactions with the prosecutor in charge which may ease out the process for a plea or might even help to reduce a sentence demanded, in case of a private lawyer this fact cannot be guaranteed. Always remember that no lawyer can ever guarantee an outcome.
A private lawyer may be expensive but he is a person with a better set of resources because of which he or she will be able to analyze every evidence in a better manner and might help the defendant get a bail. This may not be true with the public defenders as due to workload they might not have proper time to analyze all the shreds of evidence or to look for other possible solutions. Another issue is that a defendant cannot change his public defender if he/she is not satisfied with the performance they have to stick with the same. Whereas, in the case of private lawyer similar issues are not faced as he is hired after a thorough conversation and personal satisfaction.
Whether you should go with a public defender or a private lawyer all depends on your situation. The Law Office of Matthew Shrum does their best to work with everyone. We understand that when you are need need of a criminal defense lawyer in Austin, you will be going through a stressful time and we do our best to ease the process for you. We also have flexible payment plans available for those that need financial assistance.