Should You Use a Public Defender Before Your Court Date in Utah?

In most criminal cases, defendants are entitled to an attorney. A criminal defendant’s right to legal representation is largely recognized within the United States Constitution and most state constitutions. When defendants cannot afford to hire a lawyer, they are appointed a public defender. While it might be tempting to use a public defender free of charge, it is best to hire a private attorney.

If you can afford to do so, hiring a private attorney is typically a better choice. Public defenders are often overworked, underpaid, and inexperienced. It is not unusual to hear about cases where public defenders provided only the bare minimum, and their clients suffered as a result. Private attorneys often have fewer cases and can more fully dedicate themselves to each case in their charge.

If you are charged with a crime and need legal representation, a public defender might be appointed to your case free of charge. However, you should instead call our Utah criminal defense attorneys for help. We can make sure your case does not slip through the cracks. Call Overson & Bugden at (801) 758-2287 to schedule a free legal consultation with our private defense lawyers.

Why Using a Utah Public Defender May Hurt Your Case

Public defenders can be a great asset for people who cannot afford to hire legal representation. Public defenders ensure that everyone, even people who cannot pay, is provided with an attorney to look out for them in court. However, public defenders have historically been plagued by numerous troubles that interfere with their ability to provide the best representation possible.

Public defenders are often overworked and carry huge caseloads at any given time. With so many cases on their desks, public defenders have difficulty fully dedicating themselves to their clients. If a public defender spends more time on one case, their other cases suffer. This is an unfortunate situation, and many criminal defendants do not receive the attention they need from their attorney. It is not uncommon for public defenders to make decisions based on how quickly they can close a case rather than on what is truly best for the defendant.

Adequate funding has long been a problem faced by public defenders. Because public defenders are paid by the state or county rather than by clients, their budgets are very tight. Not only does this make for very limited resources for public defenders to draw upon, but it also leads to high employee turnover. Attorneys usually do not stay at a public defender’s office for very long, and many attorneys there are recent law school graduates with minimal experience.

With inexperienced, overworked attorneys, there is a risk that your case will be overlooked or slip through the cracks of the justice system. However, private defense attorneys do not face the same problems as public defenders and provide better representation. Call our Layton criminal defense lawyers today to talk about your case.

Why You Need a Utah Defense Attorney Who Can Be Fully Dedicated to Your Case

Because of heavy caseloads, public defenders are prone to prioritizing efficiency over quality. Your needs are unique and may not fit into a cookie-cutter approach designed to close cases quickly. If your case is complex or likely to take a long time to complete, a public defender might end up cutting corners to get the job done.

Public defenders are overloaded with cases and are often unable to give cases the time and effort they need. The best defense strategy often requires intense legal analysis of your case and extensive legal research. As your case progresses, your situation and needs may change, and your attorney might need to change their strategy. A public defender might not have the time to develop a new defense strategy, and you might pay the price for their mistakes.

Evidence is exchanged during the discovery process in a criminal trial, and the results of that process could change the trajectory of your case. Sometimes, what is in your best interest is not the easiest route to take. You need a lawyer who can stand by your side, even through challenging and time-consuming proceedings.

Public defenders have historically been overworked and have had extremely large caseloads. It is not uncommon for public defenders to urge their clients to take the fastest path to resolve their case, even if that path is not the best one. Our Logan criminal defense attorneys will always work for your best interests, no matter how challenging your case may be.

Benefits of Hiring a Private Defense Attorney in Utah

There are many benefits to hiring a private defense attorney. While legal fees can be expensive, you can work out a fee agreement that works for you and allows your attorney to begin working on your case. For starters, private attorneys control their caseloads and are not nearly as overloaded as public defenders. A private attorney who is too busy to handle your case will refer you to a competent lawyer who can help you. While this can feel off-putting, it is better than having your case handled by someone with no time to help you.

Private attorneys are also not restricted by limited funding. Depending on your fee arrangement with your attorney, you have access to as many resources as you are willing to pay for. This may allow an attorney to pay for top-notch expert witnesses to testify for you in court.

Private attorneys often have more experience and have handled cases like yours in the past. Private attorneys sometimes specialize in one area of law or prefer to handle specific types of cases. If you hire an attorney who commonly handles cases like yours, you are in a better position for success. Call our Ogden criminal defense lawyers to get excellent representation from private attorneys.

Call Our Utah Criminal Defense Attorneys for Help

You have the option of using a public defender or hiring private counsel. Hiring your own private counsel is the better choice in most cases. Our Park City criminal defense attorneys can help you fight your charges and get your life back. Call Overson & Bugden at (801) 758-2287 to set up a free legal consultation today.