Court-Appointed Attorney vs. Private Attorney part 1
Deciding between a court-appointed attorney and a private attorney is an important choice for some of our callers and their loved ones. In fact, it can mean the difference between a bright future and one stopped short. A court-appointed attorney (public defender) is paid by tax dollars and assigned to a defendant by the government. A private criminal defense attorney is chosen, hired and paid for by the individual or loved ones. We have learned from our clients and callers that “free” is usually very costly to their freedom!
If you are currently represented by a court-appointed lawyer in Oregon, here are some facts to consider. The court-appointed attorney system is short-staffed and short of the funding needed to skillfully defend the thousands of people accused of a crime in Oregon every year. Legislators and authorities receive cries for funding and change year after year while the budget and staff have been cut and cut again in recent years.
About Oregon’s Court-Appointed Lawyers
- They are assigned far too many cases to handle each and every case with great skill and enthusiasm.
- Their caseload and schedule make it very hard for them to give individual attention to their clients.
- They are not paid well and some are only scraping by under the weight of huge student loan debt.
- They have very little help or support staff.
- They cannot freely hire investigators or experts to help fully prepare your case for trial or negotiations. When they can, those experts are limited by a bare-bones budget.
To paint a picture, even the best court-appointed attorney is working with a shoe-string budget to save your life, protect your freedoms and future. This is like checking yourself into an emergency room using old equipment, no nurses and a stripped blood bank. Is it any surprise that so many call us disappointed with the results? We recommend you and your loved ones pull together to get the highest quality private lawyer you can!