The following is taken from an interview with a Virginia criminal lawyer as he answers frequently asked questions about the benefits of working with a private criminal defense attorney.
Why Should I Work With a Private Law Office as Opposed to Working With a Public Defender?
This is almost a pure question of economics. Certainly there are good public defenders out there, but public defenders have huge caseloads, they often do not have the time or resources they need or that they wish they had. Often, a client is only having one brief conversation with the public defender before court and, maybe, a brief conversation on the day of court.
An attorney in private practice has more time and more incentive to do great work. A private practitioner has resources as his disposal, the ability to be responsive, and the ability to give a high level of attention to your case that a public defender simply doesn’t.
What Advantages Does a Private Defense Attorney Bring to My Case?
There are a lot of advantages. One is that you’re going to have someone who is going to have enough time to give you. A private defense attorney is going to have resources at their disposal that a public defender or court-appointed lawyer won’t, such as research tools available through the firm, private investigators that are available through the firm, as well as sort of the wealth of experience and knowledge that exist inside a well-established law firm that has years and years of experience.
Simply, you get what you pay for as with so many other things.
What is The Benefit of Hiring An Aggressive Virginia Criminal Lawyer?
The benefit of hiring an aggressive criminal lawyer is manifold. One of the benefits is that you’re going to have someone working on your side who is going to leave no stone unturned, learn the details of your case, get to know you, really know the law, and who is not going to not be afraid to take what they know and use that to your advantage negotiations or at trial.
Some lawyers’ personalities make it difficult for them to be aggressive. Even some criminal defense lawyers get into scenarios where if they’re going to make someone upset with them, or they’re going to make someone unhappy, or they’re going to not give someone what they want, it makes them very uncomfortable. That makes them a poor negotiator in a plea agreement setting, and that’s not someone that you want on your side.
There are a lot of lawyers who are uncomfortable trying cases, they like to do lots of plea agreements, they’re not comfortable on their feet, and they’re not comfortable with the stress and anxiety of trying a case in a courtroom. That’s not someone that you want on your side. What you want is someone who is aggressive in trying to get the best result for you in the same way that they would try to get the best result for themselves. Someone who has absolutely no fear of employing every tactic that they can in order to get that result.
What is The Benefit of Hiring An Experienced Virginia Criminal Lawyer?
The benefit of hiring an experienced Virginia criminal lawyer is they have handled similar cases, have tried similar cases, know what the law says, and know what pieces of evidence in a case like that are important. They know what the likely weaknesses in a prosecution’s case are going to be, what the common defenses are, and how to utilize each.
It’s having familiarity with the area and location. The strengths and weaknesses of the prosecutor. The strengths and weaknesses of the officer or other witnesses. Having experience with the judge, knowing the preferences and predilections of the judge. There is no substitute for experience. It gives the lawyer an advantage in every single phase of the case from beginning to end. From analyzing the case, to identifying the issues, to gathering the evidence, to negotiating with the prosecutor, and ultimately to selecting and then implementing the best strategies and tactics and evidence for trial.