Should I stick with a public defender or hire an attorney?

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Should I stick with a public defender or hire an attorney?

I’m getting a jury trial for possession of marijuana under 2 ounces. How can I help make my sentence the least possible? I would like to know if I can plea bargain or plead no contest and if either of those will get me the least possible sentence?

Asked on December 13, 2011 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

There is no way to answer to question about plea bargaining vs. pleading no contest in the abstract--it depends on the factual details (e.g. prior conviction? your age? any other criminality going on at the same time? circumstances of arrest? etc.). You need to discuss this in detail with your attorney.

As to public defender or private attorney--if you can afford a private attorney, get one. Public defenders are, by and large, experienced and dedicated--they are also underpaid, overworked, and have few resources to support them. A private attorney may not be more skilled, but he or she will almost certainly be more focused on your case, since he or she does not have the challenges public defenders deal with.


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.

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