There comes a time for many individuals charged with crimes to consider
whether they will retain the services of a private defense lawyer or allow
their case to be handled by a public defender. As the attorney you choose
can make all the difference in your case, it is critically important to
weight the pros and cons of working with a public defender. While you
may think your case can be easily defended or that it is not serious or
important enough to warrant paying for a lawyer, the benefits of choosing
private defense far outweigh working with a public defender.
If you or someone you know has recently been charged with a crime in Orange
County, you should be intent on securing the best possible resolution,
and working with an experienced, proven, and dedicated attorney who can
help you pursue the results you need. At the Law Offices of Virginia L.
Landry, Inc., we consistently speak with accused individuals who consider
working with a public defender, only to later choose our firm because
we offer much more than public defenders can or are able to offer.
When charged with any crime, consider the following when it comes to choosing counsel:
What’s at stake – Any criminal charge warrants seasoned defense, but it is important
to remind yourself of what is at stake when you face criminal charges.
For felony offenses, private defense should be your top priority, as these
are the most serious criminal allegations one can face. Felonies pose
the most severe penalties, including a minimum of 1 year in state prison
(and often poses multiple year sentences), large fines and fees, and the
stain of having felony on one’s record that can result in a lifetime
of limitations, especially when searching for employment. Felonies also
result in a loss of certain civil rights, including the right to vote
and own a gun. Misdemeanors can also pose very stiff penalties, including
fines and numerous court fees, terms of imprisonment, court ordered classes,
probation, driver’s license suspension (in DUI and other cases),
and a criminal record, among other repercussions. When you look at the
time, penalties, money, and damage to reputation you face, it becomes
clear that there is a lot on the line, and that you should put yourself
in the best possible position to fight them.
Time and attention – Public Defenders’ offices are notorious for being understaffed,
underfunded, and overburdened, and it is no different in Orange County.
While you may be entitled to court-provided representation as your Sixth
Amendment Constitutional right, the unfortunate truth is that Public Defenders
often do not have enough time nor enough resources to devote to your case,
investigations, and defense as they demand. Overburdened Public Defenders
are one of the leading reasons why conviction rates are so high, as Public
Defenders often attempt to have defendants quickly plead out so they can
move on to the next case. In fact, the log is so dense for Public Defenders
that one study from NACDL found that Public Defenders in New Orleans
averaged just 7 minutes of preparation before representing a defendant in court! At the Law Offices
of Virginia L. Landry, Inc., our entire team devotes the time and attention
to working cases and being available and accessible to clients at all
times throughout their case.
Experience – Because Public Defenders offices are underfunded, they cannot
afford to pay attorneys much. In fact, starting wages for Public Defenders
across the nation is quite low. This means that Public Defenders are often
young and inexperienced lawyers fresh out of law school. By placing you
trust in a proven firm like the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc.,
you benefit from decades of combined experience and lawyers who have represented
numerous clients facing all types of criminal charges throughout the years.
There is simply no substitute for experience.
At the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, we possess the experience, time,
and resources to effectively help clients challenge the government’s
case against them – crucial factors to a successful case that Public
Defenders simply run low on. When there’s a lot on the line, you
want to be sure that you make every possible effort to position yourself
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of working with our
firm and what we can do to help defend against the charges and penalties
you or a loved one face,
contact us for a free consultation.