So you’re facing criminal charges in Ocean City. What do you do? Well, one of the first decisions that you’ll have to make is who you want to represent you, if anyone. Representing yourself is certainly risky unless you have extensive knowledge of criminal law and the rules of evidence, which most people don’t. As a result, most people who qualify for a public defender go that route. After all, a public defender is free or nearly so.
The risks of public defender representation
Just because a public defender can save you some money doesn’t mean that that’s your best option. In fact, having a public defender represent you can be risky. Here’s why:
- Large caseloads: Public defenders are notorious for having too many cases to effective handle. This means that they’re often focused on taking care of their caseload instead of taking care of their individual clients. This might not be the kind of representation you want, especially if it leads to you being pushed toward a plea deal that isn’t right for you.
- Inexperience: Don’t get us wrong, there are very skilled public defenders out there, but there are a lot more that take a position with the public defender agency as their first job as an attorney. As a result, there’s a good chance that you could get stuck with an attorney who doesn’t know the ins and outs of the rules of evidence and they may not be familiar with common prosecutorial tactics. Is that the representation you want?
- Lack of communication: While you need aggressive advocacy on your side, you also need to play a role in how your criminal defense plays out. With an overworked public defender, you’re less likely to have direct and immediate contact with your attorney, which means that your questions might go unanswered. Not to mention, you probably won’t receive the personalized criminal defense approach that your case deserves.
Take control of your future
Again, we’re not saying that public defenders are bad attorneys. They just face challenges that many private criminal defense attorneys don’t. So if you’re looking for the best way to protect yourself and your future in light of serious criminal charges, you might want to research which private criminal defense attorneys are right for you.