Private Defense Attorney vs Public Defender in Pinellas County: What is Best?

If you’ve been arrested in Pinellas County, then deciding between using a Pinellas County private defense attorney or a public defender may be on your mind.

If you can afford a Pinellas County private defense attorney, you most likely won’t have the choice anyway. But if you do have a decision to make, it’s important to know that the decision could have a huge impact on the outcome of your case.

What Is a Pinellas County Private Defense Attorney?

  • Private criminal defense attorneys are hired by the defendant.
  • They are not associated with the court.
  • Reputable private defense attorneys typically work for a law firm, allowing them to access impressive resources with large budgets.
  • Pinellas County private defense attorneys have a reputation to uphold, meaning their success is your success.

Read Related: How to Beat a DUI in Pinellas County

Benefits of a Private Criminal Defense Attorney

  • Resources: Our private criminal defense attorneys have strong connections with experts and analysts, who we can use to provide evidence to build a strong case. This could be pivotal in your case, as expert testimonies could be the difference between years behind bars or walking home without a criminal record.
  • They choose their clients: Unlike public defenders, private attorneys decide who they work with. That means they treat their clients with more respect, and only take on cases that they believe are winnable.
  • They care about you as a person: You’re just a number to private attorneys. To them, you’re a real person with a past and a future that matters.
  • They have more time: Private criminal defense attorneys have more time to dedicate themselves to your case. Choosing their clients, they aren’t overwhelmed like public defenders.
  • Strong reputation with the courts: Our Private Criminal defense attorneys in Pinellas County have a strong reputation within the local court system, especially with judges. This works in our clients’ favor as it can often win some leniency and patience.
  • They’ll take control: Most defendants have no idea about how the law works, the procedures required and documentation. A private criminal defense attorney will make that easy. They’ll guide you through the process, so you don’t end up in further trouble for a procedural mistake.
  • They go the extra mile: Public defenders can hide behind the name of the court. But a private attorney has a reputation to uphold. They want to impress and do a great job. That means going the extra mile, uncovering that extra piece of evidence. They can offer more than just a defense for your case too. For example, they may be able to expunge or clear a criminal record; or provide routes to overcome addictions, so you can get your life back on track

Read Our Pinellas County Defense Success Stories Here!

Negatives of Private Criminal Defense Attorneys

  • They cost money: You will have to pay a private criminal defense attorney out of your own pocket. However, given the serious, life-changing consequences of a conviction, this is almost always worth it when using a reputable criminal defense lawyer in Pinellas County.
  • They might not accept your case: Pinellas County private defense attorneys chose their clients. They don’t work with every hiring request.

What Are Public Defenders?

  • Pinellas County Public defenders are attorneys provided by the court to defend accused individuals of criminal charges.
  • The right to an attorney is a Constitutional right, as listed in the Sixth Amendment. So public defenders often step in and represent defendants who can’t afford private defense attorneys.
  • However, you can’t usually just request a public defender. You’ll have to prove that you can’t afford to pay for a private criminal defense attorney first.

Benefits of a Public Defender

  • Free of charge for those who have proof that they can’t afford a private defense attorney.
  • Can inform you of what charges you’re facing and how your case works.

Negatives of a Public Defender

  • You didn’t choose them: Although a public defender attorney is not biased, you are just assigned one. It is random.
  • They lack resources: Public defenders typically have far lower budgets and connections compared to private defense attorneys, limiting the scope of your defense. For example, they may not be able to hire private investigators or crash reconstruction experts.
  • They have large caseloads: Public defenders are very busy. They can be working with dozens of defendants simultaneously, meaning there isn’t as much focus and dedication towards your case as you would get from a private criminal defense lawyer.
  • They lack experience and standards: Public defenders don’t rely on their experience and reputation to get a case. Instead, they’re given it by the court. You could easily end up being the first client of a public defender in Pinellas County, risking your future.

Hire Our Criminal Defense Attorneys in Pinellas County, FL

Our Pinellas County criminal defense attorneys can provide a fast and aggressive defense if you’ve been arrested and charged with a crime. We regularly help people clear their names or reduce their charges following mistakes and unlawful arrests.

Free Consultations

Our Pinellas County criminal defense attorneys at Battaglia, Ross, Dicus & McQuaid, P.A., are part of one of Tampa Bay’s most prestigious law firms. We have the reputation and connections to make things happen.

Contact us today for a free consultation to get started or CALL (727) 381-2300

Sean McQuaid