Should we hire an attorney or go with someone from the public defender’s office for misdemeanor charges?

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Should we hire an attorney or go with someone from the public defender’s office for misdemeanor charges?

My 18 year old son has recently been booked on misdemeanor charges of marijuana possession, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and a tinted windows violation. Should we hire an attorney or would it be possible to obtain the services of a public defender. This case is currently in sessions court, not criminal. And, this is his first offense. He’s currently enrolled in college which is why my funds are low to begin with.

Asked on January 4, 2012 under Criminal Law, Tennessee

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If your son was charged with a criminal offense (misdemeanor) for possession of marijuana, it is best that your son is represented by legal counsel concerning the proceedings.

If you can afford a private criminal defense attorney, you should hire the private attorney for the simple fact that most public defenders or private contract attorneys are spread too thin and simply cannot give the time needed to their clients in my opinion.

If hiring a private attorney is going to be too burdensome, then see about the retention of a public defender. Many private criminal defense attorneys will take credit cards from what I have seen.


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