In 2014, drug crimes represented the highest percentage of arrests in America. In fact, the most recent statistics showed that 50% of federal prisoners were serving time for charges related to drug crimes. That number was even higher for female prisoners, at 59%.
These cases are also complicated by the fact that the punishment for drug crimes vary widely from state to state. Depending on the amount and type of drugs found, and whether or not the state has set mandatory minimums, the punishment can range from a slap on the wrist to a decade in prison.
If you find yourself charged with a drug crime, you have any number of important personal decisions to make. But the first and most important decision is who will represent your interests in a court of law: a public defender or a private law firm.
As far back as Ancient Greece, it has been said that poverty is the mother of crime. In fact, the majority of people charged with a felony aren’t able to afford their own private defense attorney. But what happens when the poor are charged with a crime? Who defends them?
Public defenders are hard working, state-employed lawyers who are appointed by the court to represent those who can’t afford a private attorney. And while most public defenders are highly qualified, they suffer from an impossible workload; in some cases, the strain of the workload is so severe that public defenders spend less than an hour preparing for each case.
Private Criminal Defense Law Firm
A private criminal defense law firm, on the other hand, might cost more but are often times well worth the investment towards securing your future.
The first and most obvious benefit is that you are free to choose your own lawyer from a very competitive market. That means you have the luxury of choosing a lawyer who truly believes in you and your case, and will work to ensure you have the best defense possible.
Second, the money that you invest on a private defense will mean that you have more quality time with your attorney. One-on-one meetings, private investigators, expert witnesses, these are all tools that a private defense attorney will have at their disposal that a public defender might not.
Whether you are faced with a DWI, assault, theft, or drug charges, choosing the right defense attorney is an important step in turning around a bad situation. It important that you weigh the costs of your decision, both financially and in terms of your future.