What can hiring a private lawyer do to help my son in his upcoming case that a public defender can’t do?

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What can hiring a private lawyer do to help my son in his upcoming case that a public defender can’t do?

My son was caught with 30 ecstasy pills at a concert event and he is is being charged with sales and distribution even though there was no proof shown of money transacted at any time during event or after. This is my son’s 1st charge as an adult and he has no juvenile criminal record. He had been holding all pills for him and his friends. Does he need to speak with a criminal attorney? In Torrence, CA.

Asked on August 23, 2011 California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

There is nothing a private attorney can do that a public defender can't--the question or issue is *how* to they do it. Public defenders are generally experienced and committed to their cause; they are also universally poorly paid and overworked. There is a limit to how much time, attention, and effort they can give any one of their clients. A private attorney hired by you will generally put more time and energy into the matter, because he or she is being paid to do so.

It's like the difference between going to your own doctor, who knows you and makes time for you, vs. going to a crowded inner city emergency room, where they are trying to keep their heads above water and juggle multiple serious cases all at once.


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