Why Use a Criminal Defense Lawyer Instead of a Public Defender?

By Jeff Kennedy

When you’ve just been arrested, you’re facing a couple of big decisions. Should you sign a plea agreement? Should you spring for a private defense attorney or just go with the free public defender?  

These are important decisions, and your choices may impact the rest of your life. Many people who have been charged with crimes take the routes that seem the easiest in the moment. They may even try to avoid their troubles entirely, hoping that, if they hide under a rock, the charges will go away.

Alternatively, they may sign the plea agreement because it seems like the quickest way to have everything “over and done with.” Many people just want to put the situation behind them. But why do people sign the plea agreement so quickly if they’re innocent? Shouldn’t they fight?

You can fight your charges, but you’ll have to decide whether you want a public defender or private defense attorney. Read on for a discussion of the benefits of using a private criminal defense lawyer.

Criminal Defense Attorney vs. Public Defender

You’ve probably heard someone say, “You get what you pay for.” The saying fits perfectly with this situation.

Public defenders aren’t bad attorneys. Many of them are knowledgeable, hardworking lawyers who care about their clients. The only trouble is they have way too many clients. How can you possibly expect to get the help you need when your attorney can’t even answer your phone calls?

In some cases, a defendant may not even see a public defender before entering the courtroom. In addition, public defenders may swap cases, often appearing for each other in court when one gets called away for another matter. Then, you’re being represented by someone who doesn’t know you from the person standing next to you.

Pros and Cons of Using a Criminal Defense Attorney

Pros Cons
  • Knowledgeable, skilled, hardworking, experienced
  • Easy to communicate with, answers all your phone calls
  • Visits you in jail, gives you legal advice, speaks with your family
  • Formulates a defense and stays by your side throughout the entire process
  • Fights against a conviction and doesn’t pass your case off to someone else
  • Has the resources to thoroughly investigate your case
  • There’s a fee for the services of a private attorney

Pros and Cons of Using a Public Defender

Pros Cons
  • Knowledgeable, skilled, hardworking
  • Free
  • Difficult to get ahold of
  • Sometimes inexperienced
  • Overloaded with work
  • You can often be shuffled between overworked public defenders, who may first read your file just hours before your trial

Reach Out to a Criminal Defense Attorney

We’re not just bashing public defenders here. It’s not their fault that they are handed so many cases that they can’t possibly give them all the attention they need. Because public defenders are court-appointed, one has to take your case. All they can do is the best they can.

The Law Offices of Jeff C. Kennedy will do everything possible to get your charges dismissed or reduced, and the prosecution can’t intimidate us. We know whether you should sign that plea agreement, so you won’t have to wonder whether you’re making the right decision.

Even better, we have the time to handle your case the right way. Call 817-605-1010 to talk with an attorney for free. You can also reach us by filling out the form below.


Jeff C. Kennedy was the light of hope at the end of very dark storm. He was not only able to defend my case swiftly, but had the alleged charges dismissed completely. His calm and empathetic demeanor offered emotional succor to myself and those I care about most. My children and I are eternally grateful for his excellent service and I hereby recommend Jeff C. Kennedy without reservation.


Jeff Kennedy truly cares. He and his staff kept me informed all the way throughout my case and provided me with all my options and the potential outcomes for my case. When the day finally arrived to resolve my case, Jeff was able to negotiate a reduction to a lesser charge. He was well prepared and coordinated everything perfectly. Jeff is not only a good lawyer, but a good man.


I hired Mr. Jeff Kennedy to handle a DWI charge. From day one, I knew I had picked the right attorney. Jeff always took the time to answer any of my questions, treated me very professionally, and truly cared about my case. I have never been in any kind of trouble before and I was very nervous about the thought of going to trial. Jeff thoroughly explained the entire process to me and made me feel at ease. Jeff took my case to trial and the jury found me NOT GUILTY!


Jeff Kennedy is a professional, intelligent, easy-to-talk-to lawyer with an excellent understanding of how the system works. Jeff was able to get my twice the legal limit BAC thrown out and he kept me from having an interlock device put on my car. This has been my only big mistake in life so far (hopefully the last) and I am glad he was there to walk me through it. You will not regret hiring him.

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Texas 76010
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