If you are facing criminal charges, you are aware that you have the right to an attorney and that, if you cannot afford one, one will be appointed to represent you. It is part of the Miranda warning that was read to you upon your arrest and it is based on the constitutional right to counsel, which is established in the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Free legal representation sounds great, right? Unfortunately, relying on a public defender lessens your chances of obtaining a favorable result and is often incredibly risky.
This does not mean public defenders do not care about your interests or will not try their best to protect your rights. However, the fact is that it is possible that you might not even qualify for one and, even if you do, they might not be able to adequately protect you for a number of reasons.
Below is a list of some of the biggest reasons why you should never rely on a public defender for your defense:
- Your public defender might not have much time to devote to your defense: Public defenders across the country are generally overwhelmed with cases and too many defendants are often reliant on too few public defenders since additional funds cannot be spared to hire additional attorneys. This means that each public defender could potentially have hundreds of cases to defend at any given time and not enough hours or days to give each defendant the proper amount of attention that is necessary to craft an effective defense strategy. Many public defenders are incredibly knowledgeable and skilled, but with only a few minutes to dedicate to your defense, it is near impossible to stand a chance.
- Your public defender might lack the right amount of resources to defend you: More than you think goes into putting together a solid defense to defeat the criminal charges a defendant might be facing. Witnesses need to be interviewed, investigators need to be hired, the evidence must be gathered and analyzed, and experts need to be retained to testify to critical issues. This is not only time-intensive, but expensive as well. A public defender often lacks the money and resources to invest in a proper defense, which puts their defendants at great risk of being convicted.
- Your public defender might push you to enter a guilty plea: Public defenders are under a lot of pressure to get matters resolved as quickly as possible and, for criminal cases, the fastest way to reach a resolution is to enter a guilty plea. There are always going to be special circumstances in which entering into a plea agreement is the wisest strategic decision, but this should be a choice that is made based on the specific merits of a case and not because a public defender needs to move on and start on the next case.
A criminal conviction could lead to numerous outcomes, depending on the crime. It could mean years behind bars, steep fines, or a criminal record that could potentially impact your life for decades, affecting your life in a variety of ways. With so much at stake, it is a far better decision to invest in a proper criminal defense attorney who will be able to give you your best chance of protecting your rights and, ultimately, your future.
Criminal Defense Attorney in Murrieta
If you are facing criminal charges, you should not hesitate to retain skilled legal counsel to ensure you are able to have a fighting chance of securing the most favorable outcome for your circumstances. At Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich, our team of Murrieta criminal defense attorneys have the experience, skill, and knowledge to effectively represent you and handle whatever criminal accusations you might be facing.