Anyone arrested for a crime in the United States is entitled to legal representation under the Sixth Amendment. But what about arrestees who cannot afford a private criminal defense attorney? This is why the Public Defender’s Office exists; public defenders are appointed to handle cases for the criminally accused who can’t afford legal counsel. However, not everyone qualifies for a public defender and this is where a lot of people get tripped up.
For someone to get a public defender, they may be required to submit a financial declaration to determine their eligibility, generally, the person seeking public defender representation must be indigent. Merriam-Webster defines indigent as, “Suffering from extreme poverty, impoverished.” So, if you have a regular full-time job, you probably won’t qualify as indigent.
What If I Qualify For A Public Defender?
“What if I qualify for a public defender? Should I make it work or hire a private attorney instead?” This is a question that a lot of criminal defendants ask themselves. If it’s free and someone is doing the work for you, why shouldn’t you utilize this service?
The answer is simple. Public defenders do not offer the same personalized service that you can get from a firm like ours. Particularly in Washington, where the arrest rate is high, the criminal justice system is cramped, and the public defenders have incredibly heavy caseloads.
In Washington, each Public Defender, is allowed to handle 150 felonies per year. Felonies are serious cases where prison is often a consequence if you are found guilty. A public defense attorney can be assigned over 12 of these cases per month.
The larger their case load, the less time they have to spend on each individual case. Many public defenders cannot spend the time and attention necessary on cases to secure the best outcomes for their clients. Not because they don’t want to, and not because they’re subpar, but just because there is only so much time they can spend on a case.
In addition to high caseloads, public defenders who work for the Office of Public Defense in Kitsap County are limited in how they can use an investigator to prepare a defense for their clients. Because of the limitations placed on what an investigator can do, the most experienced investigator in Kitsap County now refuses to take Kitsap County public defense cases.
The large caseloads and limits on what investigators are allowed to do for Kitsap County public defense cases, may result in less time that a public defender can spend on your case. Preparing the best defense requires time and investigation.
Let Us Make A Difference In Your Life
We are not only Highly Experienced, we also care and offer that one-on-one attention that you deserve. Our investigator is not limited in what he can do to fully investigate your case. Our single goal is to provide the best defense possible. We will spend the time to provide you the best defense.
If you would like to learn more about the advantages of using our law firm, do not hesitate to contact us today. We provide a free consultation for anyone who has been arrested or charged with a criminal offense.