Getting arrested can be a scary experience, especially if this is your first time. The bail amount will be set by the severity and seriousness of the crime. If it is paid, you will be released. If not, you may have to stay in jail until your initial hearing. This first hearing you will be required to attend is designed for several purposes, and it is not optional; you have to go. During this hearing, the judge will ask you if you are planning on hiring an attorney. Here are two things you should know about this.
You Can Get A Court-Appointed Lawyer
The first hearing you attend after your arrest is usually held fairly soon after you are put in jail, and one of the purposes of this hearing is to inform you of your charges. Another purpose is to make sure you have a lawyer to represent you.
When the judge asks you if you are planning on hiring a lawyer, you can state whether you are or not. If you are not, it is most likely because you feel like you cannot afford one. In this situation, the judge will begin asking you questions about your financial state. This is because the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution gives you the right to a fair trial and an attorney.
If the judge agrees that you do not have enough money to hire an attorney, he or she will appoint a public defender to represent you. This is your right, and a judge cannot deny this if you cannot afford to hire one of your own. Public defenders are licensed attorneys that perform work for the state. The state pays them to handle cases like this, but many public defenders also have their own private law firms.
The Difference Between Public Defenders And Criminal Lawyers
If you do not have any money to pay a lawyer, you may have no choice but to go with a public defender appointed by the court. If you can afford to hire your own lawyer, it might be in your best interest.
Public defenders typically take on court-appointed cases and private cases, but they have a legal responsibility to offer equal services to both. Unfortunately, though, this is not always the case.
Public defenders are often overloaded with many cases at one time. Because of this, it can be hard for a public defender to spend a sufficient amount of time on each case he or she has. In many cases, defendants do not even meet their defender until the day of their court hearings. Public defenders also earn less money on the court-appointed cases than they do on the private cases they accept, which may be a reason they devote less time to these cases.
You should also realize that if the court appoints a public defender to your case, you will have absolutely no say in who they select. If you really prefer a certain gender of lawyer and you end up with the opposite, you cannot do anything about it. When you hire your own lawyer, you can choose one by his or her gender, age, experience, and record. You will have the ability to choose the best one for your needs.
After an arrest, the best thing you can do is hire a good criminal attorney. He or she can help you get through this time, and having the opportunity to choose your own criminal lawyer can may give you a better chance of winning. To learn more about your options, contact a criminal defense attorney in your area and schedule an appointment.