What is preferable, a Public Defender or a private criminal law attorney?

My son was charged with 2nd degree burglary and concealing and possessing stolen property. I was told he could serve 5 to 10 years, this is his first offense. He recently lost his job so has no income. He is married with 3 children and I do not want him to go to prison. I’m on a limited budget but if he could get better representation with an attorney we’d have to find a way.

Asked on December 18, 2010 under Criminal Law, Oklahoma

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Seems that you really don't have a choice here.  Since money is a factor, see if he qualifes for representation by Legal Aid (there are income limits) or see if they can recommend someone to help you.  Also, check if there is a law school nearby to where he lives live; they typically run free/low cost clinics that handle these type cases.  Finally, he can contact the local Bar Association in the county where toe legal proceedings are taking place; it may have a list of attorneys who will take his case "pro bono" (for free) or at least for a reduced fee based on his income/circumstances. 


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.