Five Reasons to Retain Private Criminal Counsel

By law, every person charged with a crime in the United States is guaranteed legal representation in court. If they cannot pay for their lawyer, the court will even pay for their lawyer so they can get that representation. While public defenders are generally competent at their jobs, there are still substantial reasons to consider getting a private lawyer instead of sticking with your court-appointed one. Here are five reasons you should consider getting a private lawyer in your criminal case:

  1. Public defenders are overworked
    • Public defenders are the people primarily employed by the court to represent clients who cannot pay for their own representation. Unfortunately, this includes an enormous number of people who rely on court-appointed representation to defend themselves against criminal charges. This means that many public defenders take on far more cases than they can handle, making it more likely that they will make an important mistake, and much less likely that they will give your case the attention it deserves.
  2. Public defenders are underfunded
    • A major part of the problems public defenders face comes from their funding, or lack thereof. There are simply not enough public defenders to handle their caseload, and they are not given the resources they need to properly defend a case. This means that a public defender is almost always working on a shoestring budget, impacting their ability to defend their numerous clients.
  3. A private lawyer can give your case the time it needs
    • Unlike public defenders, private criminal defense attorneys do not have the same pressure to wrap up their cases as soon as possible. Where a public defender might only have hours or minutes to prepare for individual cases, private defense attorneys can take the time to give your case the full attention it deserves. This means both you and your attorney feel less pressure and can make decisions based on what is best for you, not on what is best for your lawyer’s schedule.
  4. A private lawyer can help you explore every legal option
    • Criminal defendants have a variety of legal rights available to them, guaranteed by both constitutional and statutory law. Exercising those rights, however, requires making motions in court, demanding hearings, and taking any other steps necessary to give yourself the best possible opportunity for success. A private criminal defense attorney will give you the time and attention you need to explore all of your legal options, which a public defender probably will not be able to do.
  5. A private lawyer is better suited for going to trial
    • While most people think of trials when they hear about criminal court cases, the fact is that the vast majority of cases take a plea deal before they ever get to trial. That said, if you do choose to go to trial, having a private defense lawyer can give you a better chance of winning than a public defender, because a private lawyer can give you the time and attention you need to formulate a proper trial strategy. With a private attorney, you do not need to feel pressured into taking a plea deal, because they will go along with you, regardless of what you decide is best for your needs.

If you or someone you know has been arrested for a criminal offense, you will need legal counsel to help you preserve your rights and work to get the best possible outcome for your matter. A New York criminal defense lawyer, who is experienced in handling criminal cases of all sorts, can advise you of your legal rights and will fight for your best interests in court. If you or your loved one has been arrested, contact the Suffolk County criminal defense attorneys at McGuire, Peláez and Bennett at (631) 348-1702.

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