When you get arrested and taken to jail, you have the opportunity, usually relatively early on, to make a phone call. Keep in mind that most of these phone calls are recorded by the police. Many people call their spouses, or a good friend who can bail them out. Others call their lawyers (which is what we recommend!). It all depends on who they think can help them deal with the situation most effectively. However, there are many people who choose not to call an attorney because they don’t think they can afford one. “I’ll just take the court appointed attorney. They’re free and I don’t have the dough for a private lawyer.”
And that was your first mistake…
Okay, we get it. Lawyers aren’t cheap. Neither are doctors, dentists or plumbers. And when faced with the reality of a free attorney, versus an attorney that’s going to cost you several thousand, it can be really tempting to take the cheaper option. But if there was ever an example of the old adage “you get what you pay for” it was this. Thousands of clients have said to us that their court appointed attorneys will never be able to do what private attorneys can. No ifs, ands or buts. They just can’t. Why? Because those clients had first hand experience with court appointed attorneys. The state of Michigan itself acknowledges that the court appointed lawyers usually fall way below the quality of privately hired lawyers.
Yup, that’s right. The number one difference between a court appointed attorney and a privately hired attorney, is cash. Yes, we know what you’re thinking. “But those court appointed attorneys get paid, don’t they? The government pays them! So they should do a good job and earn that paycheck!” Well, yes and no. They do get paid, but there’s a lot more to the story than that. Check it out.
Running the circus in return for peanuts.
The county budget alots a TON of money to the prosecutor’s office, and very little to the court appointed attorneys budget in your county. Why? Because as far as they’re concerned, if you’ve been arrested and charged with a crime, defending you isn’t real high on the county’s priority list. So why should the state cough up a fortune for your defense after they spend big bucks on paying prosecutors? It’s a remnant of the “you do the crime, you do the time” mentality. So public defenders, or court appointed attorneys, have very small paychecks and a teeny tiny budget for their defenses.
Too many cases, too little time.
To add insult to injury, court appointed attorneys have a HUGE number of cases. Remember that tiny budget? It also means that there are never enough warm bodies to meet the needs of the court – so public defenders are always juggling way more cases than they can really handle. They’re massively overworked, which means they can’t do a good job on most of the cases they get given. A good defense takes time to build, and resources to defend. Court appointed attorneys have neither. They work for very low pay so they have to do a large volume of cases to keep their heads above water.
You get what you pay for!
Join us next time, when we’ll be looking at what’s involved in switching your attorney (once you realized you needed someone who could actually provide you with a strong defense!) Until then, a public defender to help you. Call the experienced criminal defense attorneys at The Kronzek Firm. We’ve been fighting aggressively all over the lower peninsula for decades, we’re exceptionally good at what we do, and we can help you. We’re available 24/7 at 866 766 5245 (866 7No Jail)