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The College Student's Guide to Public Defenders Versus Private Lawyers

Lawyer explained to the Client
When you are arrested, you should never take the potential consequences lightly. Trying to navigate the court system on your own can feel impossible without professional help. As a college student, you may not have any experience with the criminal justice system. If this is your first time in court, you need somebody to guide you through the process.
Do you need to hire your own attorney? Or should you wait for a public defender assignment? Both choices offer some advantage. Keep reading to see arguments for both decisions.
The Benefits of a Public Defender
In America, prisoners are read their Miranda rights. These rights guarantee them the right to have an attorney present. If they are unable to afford an attorney, the state appoints one to them. As a college student, your budget may be a big factor involved in the decision-making process.
Public defenders are free to use, and this is the biggest advantage to going this route. Rather than search for an attorney in your price range, you have access to somebody who will protect your rights in court regardless of your budget.
One advantage of working with a public defender is that they become familiar with the local courts quickly. As a result, they may have a strong rapport with judges and prosecutors. Your public defender may be able to show the judge or prosecutor that you are a college student who made a mistake.
On the downside, public defenders are often working 80 to 100 cases at once. They are under an intense amount of stress and may not be able to devote as much time or effort to your case. As a result, you might consider hiring your own criminal defense attorney.
The Benefits of a Private Lawyer
The biggest benefit of hiring a private attorney for your case is that he or she will have more time to spend on your case. They are collecting money from you, so they are more inclined to put effort into your case.
Private attorneys often have access to more resources than public defenders. For example, a private attorney may have more connections and access to private laboratories. Private attorneys may also have more connections to expert witnesses. They can spend more money on these resources, procuring a solid defense strategy.
Private lawyers are less likely to push their clients toward accepting plea deals as well. They assess the actual best-case scenario for each client because they must consider their own reputation. They know that a plea bargain is not going to look best when future clients assess their statistics of success.
Finally, you have the ability to choose your criminal defense attorney when you select one privately. You can meet with several attorneys to find one who you feel will give you the best defense. When you work with a public defender, you do not have the ability to select your own.
The Best Choice for College Students
Public defenders and criminal defense attorneys are both adequate and strong lawyers. The truth is that you ultimately need somebody in your corner who understands the laws. Even for a crime you commit in college, you may face severe consequences.
Many people make the mistake of not hiring an attorney because they don't think they can afford it. The truth is that the consequences of not hiring an attorney may be more devastating.
Private attorneys are often the best choice to handle criminal cases. Do you have questions about the criminal process? Myers Law, P.C., can help you make some of these difficult decisions. Call today to get started on your case.