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Should I hire a private attorney or use the Public Defender’s Office?

When you have been arrested you should have an attorney representing you. Your options include hiring a private attorney or using a public defender if you qualify for one.

  • The public defender’s office is designed for those individuals who cannot afford to retain a private attorney. The Judge and the Clerk’s Office must determine if you qualify for a public defender by examining your finances.
  • Our legal system requires that if someone wants an attorney and cannot afford one then a lawyer must be appointed to represent them. If you can afford an attorney then the Public Defender’s Office should not be an option.
  • Just like privately retained attorneys there are many very good and hard working public defender and just like private attorneys there are some that are not. However, all public defender over burdened with cases. In fact, the Public Defender’s Office in Miami is so over burdened that the Florida Supreme Court has allowed them to withdraw from a large chunk of felonies due to the excessive work load.

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