Private attorney over public counsel?

Private attorney over public counsel?

When it comes to criminal cases, there are two options for a defendant: a public defender or a private attorney.

The choice between the two can have a significant impact on the outcome of the case. This article will provide an in-depth comparison of public defenders and private attorneys, including their qualifications, experience, costs, and effectiveness.


Public defenders are court-appointed attorneys who are responsible for representing clients who cannot afford to hire their own attorney. They are typically appointed by the court, and their qualifications vary depending on the jurisdiction. In some cases, public defenders must have specific qualifications, such as being a member of a state bar association and having a specific number of years of experience in criminal law. In other jurisdictions, public defenders are chosen based on a list of licensed attorneys who are available for appointments.

Private attorneys are hired by the defendant or their family to represent them in court. Private attorneys are not appointed by the court, but they must meet specific qualifications to practice law. To become a licensed attorney, individuals must complete a law degree, pass the bar exam in their state, and uphold professional ethical standards.


Experience is an essential factor when it comes to choosing a defense attorney. Public defenders typically have experience representing clients in criminal cases, as this is their primary role. However, they may not have experience in the specific area of law that your case involves.

Private attorneys, on the other hand, have more experience working in specific areas of criminal law. They often specialize in certain areas, such as drug offenses or white-collar crimes. Private attorneys have the ability to choose which cases they take on, and they are often more selective with the cases they accept. This can mean that they are more experienced in handling cases that involve more complex legal issues.


One of the significant differences between public defenders and private attorneys is the cost. Public defenders are appointed by the court and are paid for by the government. As such, they are often provided to defendants who cannot afford to hire their attorney.

Private attorneys, on the other hand, charge fees for their services. The cost of hiring a private attorney varies depending on their experience, reputation, and location. Some private attorneys charge high hourly rates, while others charge a flat fee for their services.


When it comes to the effectiveness of public defenders versus private attorneys, the answer is not straightforward. Both types of attorneys have their strengths and weaknesses.

Public defenders often have a heavy caseload, and they may not have the time or resources to provide individual attention to each case. This can make it challenging for them to build a strong defense for their clients. However, public defenders have experience working within the justice system, and they have a strong understanding of the way courts operate. This can be beneficial when it comes to negotiating plea deals, as public defenders may have a better understanding of the prosecutor’s approach.

Private attorneys have the advantage of being able to choose the cases they take on. This means that they can be more selective with the cases they accept and can focus their attention on each individual case. This can result in a more thorough defense strategy and a better chance of success in court.

 Reach out to our Attorney

If you have been charged with a crime, contact the Law office Of Gina M Wicik today for a free consultation. Gina M Wicik will help you with your options and ensure that you give yourself the best chance at a positive outcome. Call us today at 516-253-4278.

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