Key Differences Between Florida Public Defenders & Private Attorneys

In the United States criminal justice system, anyone charged with a crime has the right to representation; however, that does not mean that all representation is equal. In fact, there are key differences between Florida public defenders and private attorneys.

Differences Between Public Defenders & Private Attorneys


The first major difference between public defenders and private attorneys is incentive to get results. Public defenders have few reasons to get results for their clients other than personal pride and a firm belief in the justice system. While these incentives are important, public defenders are handed clients, which means their track records are irrelevant. Whether a public defender helps a client or not, they will still have more clients tomorrow. Therefore, there is no guarantee public defenders are motivated to win the cases they get.

However, private attorneys have a lot of incentives to perform well for their clients.  A private practice is a business, and as well all know, a company doesn’t last unless it helps people. No private criminal defense lawyer will last long if they don’t get good results for their clients! Therefore, private attorneys must work hard so clients keep hiring their business.


Public defenders are often overworked due to high caseloads. Since they are paid regardless of the quality of the work, they are usually tasked with many cases. This can lead to cases slipping through the cracks, which means their clients aren’t getting always getting quality of representation.

However, private attorneys typically have much smaller caseloads when compared to public defenders. That means private attorneys have time to field client questions and look at a case from every possible angle. As a result, clients with private attorneys are more likely to receive quality representation.

Securing the Right Representation

As you can see, there are key differences between public defenders and private attorneys. If you or a loved one are in need of experienced representation, look no further than Hager & Schwartz, P.A.!

Call (305) 330-1360 now for an immediate case evaluationfor your case!

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