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Private Attorney vs Public Defender: Which is the Best Choice?

Private Attorney vs Public Defender

Are you considering hiring a lawyer to represent you in court? If so, then the first decision you'll have to make is whether to go with a private attorney vs public defender. While public defenders are often seen as the more cost-effective option, there are pros and cons to both choices. According to a recent study, nearly 70% of Americans don't know the difference between a public defender and a private attorney. So, if you're among those who are unsure which option is best for you, read on to find out the difference between a public defender and a private attorney.

In this article, we'll discuss the differences between a private attorney and a public defender to help you decide which is the best choice for your case. We'll cover issues such as legal expertise, cost, and courtroom experience. Reach out to Touma Law Group today for a free consultation with an experienced Greenville criminal defense lawyer.

What Is The Difference Between A Public Defender and a Private Lawyer?

The major difference between a public defender and a private lawyer is that public defenders are appointed by the court system and paid for by the government, while private lawyers are hired by the client. A public defender can provide legal assistance to people who cannot afford to hire a lawyer on their own and are your assigned counsel for the case. Private legal counsel, on the other hand, is hired by the client and their services are usually payment-based.

The Cost Differences Between Public Defenders and Private Attorneys

When it comes to cost, public defenders usually come out on top. Since they are provided by the government, their services are free or at a low cost for those who qualify. This can be an especially attractive option for those who don’t have the financial means to hire a private attorney.

attorney Adam Touma of Touma Law Group

However, it’s important to keep in mind that public defenders may be very busy with multiple cases. This can lead to a lack of personal attention and possibly poorer performance in court, compared to a private counsel.

Private attorneys, on the other hand, tend to cost more than public defenders. But the high cost comes with advantages. Private attorneys typically spend more time familiarizing themselves with your case, and they are more likely to have specialized knowledge in the field of law you need help with.

Courtroom Experience of Public Defenders and Private Attorneys

When it comes to courtroom experience, public defenders have a slight edge over private attorneys. Public defenders are assigned multiple cases and therefore tend to have more courtroom experience than private attorneys. This means they are likely to be more familiar with the court proceedings and procedures, as well as the policies of the local court.

Private attorneys have typically spent more time preparing for the case and can provide a higher level of personal attention. They may also be able to negotiate better deals with opposing counsel and prosecutors.

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More so, public defenders have access to legal experience and expertise similar to that of private attorneys, but the key difference is in their ability to provide an effective defense. A public defender is assigned multiple cases, so they may not be able to dedicate as much time or attention to each case as a private attorney. This is one of the biggest differences between a public defender and a private attorney. When faced with legal questions or unfamiliar law practice, it's important to consider the long-term consequences of your decision.

Having an experienced private attorney by your side can ensure you get the answers to all your questions and receive the best possible outcome for your case.

Pros and Cons of a Public Defender.

When deciding on the best course of action for legal representation, it is important to weigh both the pros and cons of a public defender.


  • A public defender is usually free or low-cost, making them a great option for those who can’t afford a private attorney.
  • Public defenders are often more experienced in court than private attorneys, as they have had more exposure to the court system.
attorney sitting with scales, Private Attorney vs Public Defender


  • Public defenders may not have adequate time to devote to a single case, leading to poorer performance in court.
  • Public defenders may not specialize in the type of law you need help with, leading to less expertise and knowledge than a private attorney.

Pros and Cons of a Private Attorney

When considering hiring a private attorney, it is important to weigh both the pros and cons.


  • A private attorney usually has more specialized knowledge in the type of law you need help with.
  • Private attorneys tend to spend extra time getting familiar with the case and can provide a higher level of personal attention.


  • Private attorneys typically cost more than public defenders.
  • Private attorneys may not have as much experience in court proceedings, policies, and procedures as public defenders.
attorney sitting at a desk with scales and a gavel, Private Attorney vs Public Defender

Why You Should Hire a Private Defense Attorney

When it comes to legal cases, the more experienced and knowledgeable the attorney is, the better. A private defense attorney can provide specialized knowledge in the field of law you need help with, as well as more personal attention to your case. They will also be able to negotiate better deals with opposing counsel and prosecutors, leading to a better outcome in court.

Furthermore, unlike public defenders, a private defense lawyer is not as busy with multiple cases and will be able to devote more time to your case. This means they can better prepare and provide improved performance in court, leading to a more favorable outcome.

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Contact Our Experienced Greenville, SC Criminal Defense Attorney Today

If you're facing criminal charges and need a lawyer, it is important to get an initial consultation with either a public defender or private attorney to understand the type of charges and any possible plea agreements. A strong defense is imperative in ensuring that you have the best chance of success, so it's important to consider both a public defender and a private attorney when choosing the right lawyer for your case.

An experienced lawyer with trial experience is essential in providing top-notch defense, so it is important to thoroughly research law firms and lawyers before making a decision. Be sure to ask questions about attorney fees, court-appointed attorneys, and any plea deals they may be able to negotiate. Ultimately, the choice of a lawyer should be based on your individual needs and goals. The right lawyer can make all the difference in your legal case.

At Touma Law Group, Our criminal defense lawyers offer the best legal service and legal advice. Our legal team has the experience and expertise you need to get the best outcome in court. Our experienced attorneys can offer the best legal defense in any criminal matter. Contact us today for a consultation. We look forward to helping you with your case.

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