hello, my name is chris morales and i’m acriminal defense attorney in san francisco, california and today i want to talk aboutwhen you should or should not use the public defender’s office. first let’s talk about the public defender’soffices.they are set up to represent poor people. people who do not have the funds tohire a private attorney. the united states constitution says that everybody should getan attorney if they charged with a crime. so that’ why we have a public defender’s officesthey are funded by the counties and sometimes by the state. as you probably know by now public defendersare very nice people very sincere, but they
are usually over worked and underpaid. usuallyhave very high volumes of cases and handling lots and lots of cases. so, if you do choose to use the public defenderyou are not going to get a lot of personal attention you may not even sit down in anoffice and talk to your public defender. they may be too busy to actually sit and have aconversation with you. many times you will just meet them in court outside in the hallwayminutes before your case is called. so, if you are going to use the public defendersyou have to be very proactive call them not everyday, but once in a while to say helloto see if you can have a sit down interview with them. you want to get them all of youremployment records, character reference letters
you have to do a lot things on your own causethey don’t have time to do all the small things that go into defending a criminal case. soyou will have to take care of those things yourself. if, you can afford to hire a private attorneya good private attorney it’s always better because you can rest assure that all the littlethings are going to be done and get the best possible defense. now there are times where you should use thepublic defenders if you qualify that is if you have asked around and talked to a bunchof people and the assigned public defender, the one that you have gets very high ratingsfrom everybody else. if you have a really
good one and you qualify for the public defendersyou should stick with that public defender. the second time you should stick with a publicdefenders office is if you have a very complex murder case. so a murder cases cost a lotof money if you are going to hire a private attorney and it can cost anywhere from 50-100thousand dollars. not everybody has the sufficient funds to hire a good attorney, a good privateattorney to handle a murder case. so, if you have a complex murder case andyou qualify for the public defenders the chances are that the best attorneys in that publicdefender office will be assigned to that murder case. that is the way it works as attorneyswork their way up through the public defenders office the best attorneys and highest qualifiedattorneys end up with the juicer cases, which
are usually the murder cases. so those are the two situations where youshould use a public defender in a criminal case if you qualify. for more informationabout criminal defense and about public defenders please visit my website at www.sfcriminallawspecialist.comyou can also call me at (415) 552-1215 and please follow me on facebook and twitter.