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Why You Should Hire A Private Criminal Defense Attorney

Seth Shapiro
By: Seth Shapiro
Jul. 24 2020

If you are arrested by local law enforcement, or charged with a crime by the State Attorney’s Office, you have a choice as to how you can defend yourself in court. You can represent yourself (from Latin called “pro se,” meaning “for oneself” which in law means to argue on one’s own behalf in a legal proceeding), you can utilize the Public Defender’s Office, or you can hire a private attorney. 

Hiring A Private Defense Attorney

Hiring a private defense attorney requires paying a legal fee to the attorney.  Why should you consider doing so?

  1. Public Defenders are Overburdened – Statistics show that the average public defender works on significantly more cases each year than private attorneys.  Public Defenders are stretched thin.  They have less time to spend with each client, and less time to dedicate to addressing the individual facts and circumstances of each case than does a private attorney.  To be fair, Public Defenders are educated and licensed by the Florida Bar in the very same way as private attorneys, but they just don’t have the bandwidth and time to provide personalized service to each of their clients.  A private attorney will answer your questions, calls, texts, and emails.
  2. Potentially Better Outcomes – Some studies have shown that private attorneys typically achieve better outcomes for their clients.  A private attorney has access to more resources like expert witnesses to help prove your case and deliver a more favorable or less severe outcome.  Private attorneys can also work proactively with clients to allow for negotiations with the State Attorney to resolve their cases.
  3. Benefit for the Cost – A private attorney costs money while the Public Defender is essentially free.  Keep in mind that with the Public Defender the attorney is assigned to you.  When hiring a private attorney you are making a choice.  You have the ability to interview several attorneys and select the firm with the most experience and expertise and best personal fit – you are making a choice.  You have no choice with the Public Defender, the individual attorney assigned to you is by the luck of the draw.
  4. A Private Attorney Works For You – When you hire a private attorney, we are working for you. You will receive our attention and concierge-like service.  You will direct the course of your representation.  We will be responsive and compassionate to your needs.  The level of personal attention you receive with a private attorney is most often unachievable with the Public Defender.

If you are facing a criminal charge in the Tampa Bay Area of Florida (Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, Manatee, Sarasota) consider using a private attorney.  Call the Morris Law Firm at 727-388-4736, Option 1 for New Clients to speak with an attorney for an evaluation and strategy discussion on your case.