If you’ve recently been arrested for a DUI, you have much to be concerned about. For starters, a DUI conviction means you will have a criminal record and will likely face high criminal fines and even jail time. Your insurance rates could skyrocket and your career opportunities could be damaged, and the cost of these two issues over the long term could dwarf whatever fines you might have to pay. The temptation when thinking about all the financial costs you are facing might be to save money on legal costs by working with a court-appointed public defender. But trying to save money by using a public defender could backfire spectacularly in the long run. Here are five reasons why.
Public Defenders Have Very Little Time to Spend On Your Case
In almost every courthouse and jurisdiction, public defenders are overworked and often have hundreds of defendants whom they are assigned to defend. This means that a public defender may spend only a matter of minutes on your DUI case. That is not an appropriate amount of time to fully investigate the circumstances of your arrest and pursue all potential defenses.
Public Defenders Want to Close Cases, Not Win Them
Because public defenders are constantly overworked and overburdened with cases, and they generally do not have the resources or time to develop strategies to help their clients attain their best possible outcomes in a case, they usually want to simply close cases. While they may put in some effort to obtain a lesser charge or sentence, the end result is still usually going to be a criminal conviction with the skyrocketing insurance rates and career/reputational damage that goes along with a criminal record.
Public Defenders Are Often Inexperienced or Unskilled
It’s just a fact that public defender jobs are often some of the lowest-paying attorney jobs out there, as few jurisdictions make paying high compensation for criminal defense a top priority for tax dollars. Without a doubt, many fantastic criminal defense attorneys got their start working in public defenders’ offices, and there are some noble souls who have dedicated their lives to working in such offices, but, for the most part, you are often getting attorneys just out of law school with little supervision or experience in obtaining great results for clients.
Public Defenders Have No Incentive to Formulate Defense Strategies
Even if public defenders did have the time, resources, skill, and experience to zealously represent your interests, there is still not much incentive for them to do so, outside of their own interest in developing their skills or where there is a personal motivation to pursue all avenues to obtain a not guilty verdict or dropped charges.
An Experienced Criminal Defense Will Stake His or Her Reputation On You
When an experienced criminal defense attorney works privately on your behalf, he or she is building his or her own professional reputation on your success and satisfaction. Unlike public defenders, who are usually randomly assigned to clients and will continue to receive clients regardless of their results, a private lawyer’s practice lives and dies by the outcomes they achieve for their clients. Although an experienced criminal defense attorney will charge you a fair legal fee, this fee is often well worth it in comparison to the benefits that attorney can help you obtain in the form of freedom from criminal charges and the ongoing effects of a DUI conviction.
Speak with a PA Criminal Defense Attorney Today
At The Martin Law Firm, P.C., in Montgomery County, we are committed to defending your rights. Call us today for a free consultation with a PA criminal defense attorney today regarding your DUI arrest.