3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Rely on a Public Defender

If you’re facing significant jail time, a life-altering prison sentence, or hefty fines, you may find yourself unable to hire a private attorney for your case. Those who have limited finances often believe that their only option is to be assigned a court-appointed public defender. Should you rely on a public defender to represent you? Here are 3 reasons why you shouldn’t.

picture of a dark jail cell


Public defenders have a well-deserved reputation for being overworked. In many states, a public defender can handle hundreds of cases simultaneously. To compound this, many public defenders may not have your particular case information available to them until a day or so before your court date. Typically, they will default to pre-determined strategies (i.e. plea bargains) because they simply don’t have enough time to prepare an adequate legal defense. Details that may ensure your victory in court may be overlooked so that they can move on to the next case.


Entry-level public defenders employed by county or local municipalities only make $45,000 a year. Because they don’t have a vested financial interest that private attorneys have, public defenders don’t have a financial incentive to defend the particular nuances of your case.


A public defender’s caseload makes them a jack of all trades and a master of none. While a public defender is a licensed attorney, they may accept a wide variety of cases without getting into the details of your particular case. For instance, an attorney specializing in drug offenses wouldn’t be a good fit for domestic violence charges. Would they be able to recommend previous case examples that could grant your freedom? Would they have a relationship with experts to call upon in court? Unfortunately, the answer is no.

All of the information mentioned above should help to inform you on how important it is to hire a private attorney if you are facing serious jail time. Public defenders can be great, but not when it comes to large cases and serious charges. I have devoted my live to helping people during the most difficult of times. Please contact me if you are in need of help or want some more information. If you are looking to learn more, visit on my page on last wills and testaments.