When law enforcement officers arrest someone and decide to interrogate or question them, it is standard practice to provide the individual they want to question with their Miranda Rights by reciting the Miranda Warning.
Most people are at least somewhat familiar with the Miranda Warning and its contents. It is a common feature in police-related television shows. The rights people should hear about during the Miranda Warning include the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. The courts must provide those charged with serious crimes with a public defender if that individual isn’t able to retain their own legal representation.
Unfortunately, as people say, you often get what you pay for, and free criminal defense guidance may not be very useful.
Public defenders are largely overworked and underpaid
Lawyers need to know all the details of the cases they intended to argue, and they also have to have an in-depth awareness of both the state law on the issue and precedent in similar cases in order to properly represent their clients in court. Many attorneys specialize in a few niche areas of law for exactly this purpose, allowing them to have a great depth of knowledge on a limited number of topics.
Public defenders typically get assigned to cases, meaning that they don’t just represent those whose cases fall within the limited range of their expertise. They may be completely unfamiliar with the specific criminal code that someone violated.
Even worse, because they have to represent so many people at the same time, public defenders frequently don’t have adequate time to do enough research to close the gap between what they know now and what they need to know to properly represent someone in court.
Your entire future may depend on the outcome of your case
Depending on a range of factors, including previous criminal convictions, the offense of which you stand accused and your current career, bad criminal defense representation could very well result in a terrible outcome that could lead to incarceration, loss of your professional licensing or difficulty moving forward in life because of limited access to higher education and employment opportunities.
While you can appeal a decision in certain situations, you typically only have one opportunity to defend yourself, so it makes sense to get the best help available instead of the cheap help.