There are two types of lawyers: the one you hire and the one you get from the office. There is a stigma around public defenders which says they almost never win their cases. Is this true or is just a myth? Find out more about each type of lawyer and know when you can ask for a public defender.
The blame is all on the public defenders
Public defenders are always blamed and looked down at, but they always do their best, against all odds. They are appointed by the state to defend people who can’t afford a private solicitor; depending on state, there are federal poverty lines which say if a person can or can’t afford a lawyer. The attorney can’t refuse a case, unless there is a conflict of interests, so they usually end up with more cases they can handle. This reduces the time they can spend on each case, building the defense and talking to their clients, which is indeed an obstacle in building a strong case. Luckily for the public defender, the state limits the number of their cases at some point.
What it’s interesting to note is that one in five clients of public attorneys had never been arrested before, which contradicts the general opinion that only backsliders are given public defenders. Another interesting fact is that white people have three times more chances to get away when they are defended by a public attorney.
Private lawyers and their beautiful lives
Private lawyers are hired by people to defend them in court and can be paid up to $500 per hour. They can take as many cases; they want and have the possibility to refuse a case, if they want to. Depending on how much he is paid, a private lawyer can use as many resources he wants to in a case, opposed to the public defender, which needs to stick with the allocated resources.
There is one thing that is right about private lawyers: they earn twice as much as public defenders.
A hired lawyer can take his time to discuss the case with the client and build the defense, but the state has no implications on the number of cases they can take up. This means a private lawyer can take more cases than a public defender, if he wants to.
When we take a look at races, black people are twice as likely to have their charge reduced when they use a private attorney.
Overall, there are no significant differences
When you look at the results both attorneys earn in court, the numbers are the same: they have 50-50 chances to win their cases, so there is no evidence public defenders lose their cases more often than their private counterparts. When you look at their degrees, there are no differences whatsoever; when it comes to gender, there are both males and females on both sides.
All in one, if you are entitled to a public defender you don’t need to be scared; a private lawyer has the same chances to win your case.