Should I Use a Public Defender For My Criminal Case?
Your right to be represented by legal counsel when you are charged with a crime is very important. A criminal defense attorney understands the laws applicable to your charges, the rules of evidence, and the court rules. An attorney also knows how to develop the best possible defense strategy based on the facts of your case. When you are facing the possibility of jail time, fines, probation, and other penalties, you want an experienced Lansing criminal defense attorney representing your best interest. However, what should you do if you do not think you can afford an attorney?
Public Defenders — What Do You Need to Know?
By law, if you cannot afford an attorney, you can request the court appoint an attorney to defend you. Court appointed attorneys are called public defenders. Contrary to what you may hear, all public defenders are not bad attorneys. Many public defenders are experienced trial attorneys who have years of experience handling a variety of cases. However, when the court appoints a public defender for you, you do not have a choice of which attorney in the Public Defenders Office represents you. You could be appointed a lawyer with decades of experience handling criminal cases, or you could be appointed an attorney right of law school.
If I Can Get a Public Defender, Why Not Save the Money and Use One?
There are several reasons why you may not want to accept a public defender, even if the court approves your request for the appointment of an attorney.