Criminal defense attorneys often get a bad reputation. The public has a hard time wrapping their head around how a person can defend those "guilty" of committing a crime. However, when you or a loved one is the one being accused of a crime, you want the best defense possible fighting on your side. Find out the truth behind the common myths of criminal defense attorneys.
Myth #1 Go with the public defender. Hiring a criminal defense attorney isn't worth the money. Public defenders have very heavy caseloads, and many people who need criminal defense will not qualify for public assistance. If you have the money to hire a lawyer, you should hire one, just like if you have money to purchase food, you should not take food from a food pantry. Also, a defense attorney is likely to be able to dedicate more time and effort to your case, since they are likely not as overloaded as public defenders.
Myth #2 Paying more money gets you a better attorney. The cost of an attorney is not indicative of their performance as an attorney. Many capable attorneys, such as Crosby Legal, PLLC, do keep their costs low in order to remain competitive and available to those who need assistance. The real way to know whether an attorney will be able to help you is to research their case results to see what kinds of successful cases they have.
Myth #3 The majority of work is done in the courtroom. Your criminal defense attorney will spend hours putting your case together. The "courtroom drama" is often what we see on television, but is a minor part of the actual job of an attorney. They will spend a lot of time putting the case together by doing things such as interviewing witnesses, doing research, scouring police reports and sending subpoenas. Even when you are not with them, your attorney will be working for you.
Myth #4 Hiring a former prosecutor as your defense attorney will be a benefit to your case. It is often assumed that a criminal defense attorney that used to be a prosecutor will benefit your case since they know both sides, having "played for the other team" before. This is not always true. If you are considering hiring a former prosecutor to defend you, be sure to do your research. Ask them why they made the change, and how long they were a prosecutor for. It can be hard to make such a drastic change in thought process, and subconsciously they may not always have your best interest in mind.
Myth #5 Criminal defense attorneys are dishonest and scum. Many people assume that since a criminal defense attorney is voluntarily defending a "criminal," that they are bad people who sympathize with known criminals. This is not the case. Criminal defense attorneys have a job to make sure that truly innocent people are not charged, but more often than not, they want to make sure that the legal system treats all people fairly. While they may know their client has committed a crime, they want to make sure that they are treated properly in the court of law and charged appropriately, with a "fair" punishment for the crime.