The criminal justice system is very complex and is confusing for most people when they are charged with crimes. Learning how to navigate through the processes and rules can be difficult for people who are not represented by a criminal defense lawyer.
Within the court system, criminal defense attorneys offer guidance to their clients to help them understand each step of the process from bond hearings to jury trials. Throughout their representation, a defense lawyer works to protect their clients’ interests and serve as their confidants.
Criminal defense lawyers fall into two main groups, including those who are appointed by the court and paid for their services by the government and those who are privately retained by people who are facing criminal charges.
At the Shah Law Firm, we offer private criminal defense representation to people who are facing all levels of criminal charges.
Private Criminal Defense Lawyer vs. Court-Appointed Public Defender
People who can afford to hire attorneys for their defenses retain private criminal defense lawyers. Those who are unable to pay for an attorney are not left to navigate the criminal court process alone, however. Indigent defendants can ask the court to appoint public defenders to represent them. A very small percentage of defendants opt to represent themselves and are known as pro se defendants.
Private criminal defense attorneys are directly contacted by the defendant while public defenders are assigned cases by the court. Public defenders are lawyers who are paid for their services by the public defender’s office on a salary basis. These lawyers often have large caseloads and are paid lower salaries than what private criminal defense attorneys earn.
Because of the fact that a majority of criminal defendants are indigent and the court referral process, public defenders often do not have as much time at their disposal to spend on each case.