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Twin Falls Criminal Defense Blog

How to Find and Select an Attorney in a Criminal Case

We live in an age of intense marketing for all types of products and services and criminal defense attorneys can be extremely aggressive in their attempts to sign up new "business". Not so ...
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Welcome To Our Twin Falls Criminal Defense Blog

Our Attorneys are pleased to announce the launch of our Twin Falls Criminal Defense Blog with a RSS feed available here.
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Should I stay with the public defender I have been appointed or try to hire a private attorney to handle my case?

People charged with criminal offenses will often initially have the public defender's office appointed to represent them. For many such people, the thought of being represented by an attorney provided to them by the government is unsettling. Everyone has heard derivise terms like "public pretender" in reference to those attorneys who are either employed by the public defender's office or who have contracted with the county to act as public defenders. In fact, there are many fine lawyers who serve as public defenders in Idaho. Unfortunately, case loads for these men and women can often be significantly higher than the case loads of private counsel. Consequently, at any given time your public defender may have far more cases than he/she can devote significant time to. In other cases an individual public defender may lack the criminal defense skills and experience of some attorney in private practice. The key to making a decision about whether to stick with your public defender or find the resources to hire private counsel is how you feed about your public defender. Does he/she seem interested in your case? Have you asked about his/her trial experience? If so, how many times has he/she gone to trial? Does he/she return your phone calls, make appointments to meet with you or, if you were incarcerated, did he/she come to see you? If he/she has been in court with you did he/she seem prepared, well spoken and confident? Have you asked around among people you know and trust as to whether or not your public defender has a good reputation for aggressive, competent representation?

If you feel good about the person appointed to represent you then don't be afraid to stick with him/her. Furthermore, there are a number of attorneys in private practice who are not particularly skilled or experienced in criminal defense work. Some attorneys talk a great case but, if you look deeper, have seldom if ever actually taken a case to trial. The phrase "bleed 'em and plead 'em" well describes certain attorneys who take a client's money, cut a quick deal with the prosecutor and then move on to the next case without even considering a trial. If you are going to pay good money (which will often have to come from family and friends) for a private attorney, make sure you are getting someone with the skill and experience to protect you.

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