In minor misdemeanor charge for possession of marijuana, how much will a public defender differ from a lawyer?

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In minor misdemeanor charge for possession of marijuana, how much will a public defender differ from a lawyer?

I just had a joint.

Asked on September 26, 2012 under Criminal Law, Maryland

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Usually a regular attorney will not differ a whole lot from a public defender for this type of case.  The range of punishment for a joint is set by statute.  Many defendants get a public defender and are frustrated by certain laws and don't think that their attorneys are working for them-- when actually the attorney is just stuck with the parameters of the law just like any other attorney.  However, the caveat is that there are good lawyers and bad lawyers--- on both sides of the fence (public and private).  Considering that your case only involves a joint, a public defender should be able to handle your case just fine.  If you're not comfortable with the advice that they give you, then arrange for a consultation with a criminal defense attorney in your area to see if their representation is consistent with the programs offered in your jurisdiction.


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