Public Defender vs Private Lawyer: Who Works Better for You?


When faced with a criminal charge, you will be told that you have a right to a lawyer or a public defender if you cannot afford a lawyer. Although you are given time to decide which is the better option for you, some are still unsure. Especially if you are not familiar with the difference between the two. But don’t worry. We have compiled an easy way to explain the difference between the two so you can decide which figure is right for your case.

What Is a Public Defender?

To put into simple terms, a public defender is someone the court appoints to represent your case. They can, however, only be appointed to you by your request but you are not allowed to select the defender. Your public defender is on your side throughout the case to help steer you to the best possible outcome free of charge. Although this is seen as a major advantage, there are disadvantages to consider as well.

Because a public defender, as stated previously, does not cost you anything, they are frequently overworked and underpaid. With so many cases thrown at them, they have a very limited amount of time to actually meet with the client and work up a good, strong case. Another disadvantage to this is that if you are unsatisfied with the defender provided to you, you will have a difficult time finding another to work on your case in a short amount of time.

Interestingly, advantages can actually come from the disadvantages. For example, with so many cases under a public defenders belt, they have experience with criminal cases and, typically, a better relationship with the court. For many cases, this is seen as a good thing since it helps with plea arguments.

What Is a Private Lawyer?

A private lawyer is, essentially, the same as a public defendant with a few differences. One major difference being that a lawyer comes with a price tag. The reason being is that when you pay for a private lawyer, they cater to your case only rather than a public defender who juggles several at a time. They spend time with you to learn about the case and learn the prosecutor’s weaknesses to hopefully help your case. You are also paying for the team that helps the lawyer such as paralegals, associates, and staff associates. Together, they all work to help defend you and your case.

Also unlike a public defendant, you are allowed to select your lawyer or, if need be, fire them for a different lawyer. If this situation were to ever occur, you would have better luck contacting a private lawyer who has a firm rather than a public defendant who does not. Having a firm also gives another advantage to the client who can meet with them beforehand to ensure they are investing in the right person.

Breaking It Down

When it comes down to it, both figures are good options for any case you may be in. It all just depends on your financial situation when picking between the two. Regardless, you will always need solid representation when going to court which is why having the right defendant on your side is necessary. The same can be said in the event that you need a bondsman to help you with bail. Make sure you have professionals such as Titan Bail Bonds on your side. If you need help, give us a call at 615-796-4955 today.