Will a public defender do everything possible to fight for my rights? This is a question many people ask when they’ve been forced to seek legal assistance. If you’ve had to seek the help of a public defender, and for whatever reason you don’t feel you are being justly represented, unless your case is thrown out of court, it’s in your best interest to request a dismissal and hire a personal lawyer. There are some public defenders that are referred to as “public pretenders.” Unless you want to risk spending time in jail, hire a lawyer directly, even if it means making payments to the lawyer, charging the expense, or borrowing the money to secure good legal help.
Decide for Yourself
Unless you’re fortunate enough to secure a public defender who is is willing to fight for your rights, and many are, you’re taking a huge risk. Gambling with your freedom isn’t worth the savings. Since a public defender is paid by state, a public defender isn’t earning as much as a lawyer hired directly. A public defender earns about $65 an hour on average. Although this may seem like a high rate of pay to the average person, $65 an hour isn’t the going rate. Many public defenders are also available for hire and have numerous paying clients. Although most will do their best to fight for your rights, as in any occupation, there are some who will take the easiest route.
A public defender isn’t necessarily a free attorney. If you are found guilty of whatever you have been accused of, you’ll be paying in more ways than one. You will have to pay the state for the services of the public defender. This money goes back into a fund so the public defender can be paid for defending cases of others.
Public defenders who are known to take the easy route push clients to plead guilty, even when guilt is in question. A client pleading guilty is an easy case. The public defender doesn’t have to work very hard when the client pleads guilty, and a legal defender that doesn’t show an interest in fighting for your rights isn’t a defender you want representing your case.
If the public defender who is suppose to be on your side won’t keep you informed as to what’s going on with your case, over time you will probably feel like they are on the side of the prosecution. If you get the feeling the public defender appointed to your case isn’t really on your side or doesn’t really care, dismiss that public defender as soon as possible. You can’t hire an attorney until the public defender has been legally dismissed.
How Do I Dismiss a Public Defender?
If you feel you’ve made a serious mistake by requesting a public defender, it isn’t too late to change your mind. Type a letter to the court requesting the dismissal of the public defender. You don’t have to go into details as to why you want the public defender dismissed. Simply state you feel it is in your best interest to hire an attorney to represent your case. It isn’t necessary to name the attorney you intend to hire, nor is it necessary to degrade the public defender. If you want to inform the court of bad representation, do so after your case has been settled.
In addition to sending a dismissal request to the court, also send a letter of dismissal to the public defender. Generally the court will grant your request for dismissal upon receipt, but you should cover all bases. Again, it isn’t necessary to provide a reason as to why you want to dismiss the public defender. Simply state once again that you feel it is in your best legal interest to do so. In addition, make the public defender aware that you’ve also sent a request for dismissal to the court.
After you’ve received documentation that the request to dismiss the public defender has been granted, you can hire an attorney of your choice. If the attorney doesn’t have time to look into the case, a delay can be requested to allow more time for preparation. A good attorney who has been directly hired will hopefully have your best interest in mind. There are many attorneys who are willing to take credit cards or direct payments. Hire a lawyer who shows a clear interest in fighting for your rights.