Should I Request a Court-Appointed Attorney?

Facing charges for a crime is one of the most terrifying situations, regardless of whether or not the charge is a misdemeanor or felony. The accused has a few choices; enlist the services of a seasoned attorney or opt for a public defender to represent them, free of an up-front cost.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys

At LEWIS & DICKSTEIN P.L.L.C., we have worked with dozens of clients who seek our help after finding themselves dissatisfied with the inattentive and sub-par representation of a public defender. Unfortunately, the adage “you get what you pay for” is true in the case of legal representation.

Does it matter who represents me?

Choosing a seasoned, reputable attorney to protect you is crucial, whether you face misdemeanor or felony charges for the first time or the third! We have heard from clients that their public defender fails to communicate, leaving phone calls and emails unanswered and leaving the client unaware of his or her own choices and personal rights. Other common complaints include that the lawyer does not fight to win, is disrespectful, is not knowledgeable, seems uninterested, refuses have meetings, and more. This is not to say that all court-appointed lawyers fit this description, many are very good but are limited by heavy dockets and lack of financial incentive.

Court Appointed Attorney

Because a public defender is court-appointed and chosen by the court or judge, clients forfeit the ability to choose a seasoned attorney with a strong reputation and someone who they feel they can trust. In fact, some public defenders are over-extended and will try to get clients to plead guilty to avoid going to trial, which requires more planning and investment on their end. The worst case occurs with judges who punish court appointed lawyers for fighting cases by removing them from “the list” or providing them less frequent work.

What should I look for in hiring legal representation?

Individuals who have no history with the legal process find themselves unsure of what to value in an attorney. Before hiring a bargain lawyer or accepting a court appointed attorney, consider whether or not lawyer specializes in cases, if they have a strong reputation, if their prior clientele vouch for the lawyer, and how is the lawyer rated with the various lawyer rating services. Be sure to ask whether your case will be handled by a lawyer who is familiar with your case or if you are going to be shipped off to an uninformed associate.

What if I can’t afford a lawyer?

It is worth researching attorneys in your area before assuming that you cannot afford a lawyer. While you may hesitate to set up a payment plan, consider what is at risk if you do indeed lose your case. Your reputable, finances, employment, family, and freedom are on the line. For this reason, we do not recommend cutting corners. Pick up the phone and call LEWIS &DICKSTEIN P.L.L.C. right now at (248) 263-6800. With years of experience on our side, we can help devise a defense strategy that will minimize the potential damage on your life.

Michigan Criminal Law

When deciding whether a lawyer is affordable, you have to not only consider the amount of the fees but also ask the question, “what is the cost of not hiring a good attorney?” If the outcome of the case does not go as well as it could and jail is ordered or a conviction is entered when that result could have been avoided? What will be the cost to the defendant in terms of lost employment, time away from family, deportation, damage to reputation, inability to go to college or get a professional license? Odds are good that the “cost” of an unnecessary jail sentence or conviction is far greater than the difference in cost to hire a really good lawyer.

Is a court appointed lawyer free?

A court appointed lawyer is not free, there is just not an up-front fee. The court will force the defendant to reimburse the court for the cost of the court appointed attorney as a condition of the sentence. Failure to make a payment can be a violation of probation. The fee for the court appointed attorney will be a fraction of the cost of a retained lawyer; however, the quality of the representation may also be a fraction of what it would be with a seasoned, experienced and zealous private attorney.

Top Legal Representation for Felony and Misdemeanor Cases

Top Rated Michigan Criminal Defense

The Defense Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. is widely known and respected for having an unparalleled track-record of successfully and zealously representing client. We use a unique team approach with several seasoned criminal defense lawyers who collaborate on every file to achieve the best possible outcome. If you or someone you love is charged or being investigated with a misdemeanor or felony charge, please call us today at (248) 263-6800 or complete a Request for Assistance Form and an experienced, retained lawyer will promptly contact you.