What Should Someone Know When Deciding Between A Public Defender Versus Hiring An Experienced Attorney?
First of all, people who represent themselves need to remember that there is an old expression that says “A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client.”
A person who is unrepresented is at a far more extreme disadvantage than they can imagine. That’s why at every stage of the process, they are being told by different people in the system, “You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford one, one will be appointed for you.” Of course, the truth is if you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you provided you’re virtually destitute. However, even if you are a poor college student if your parents claim you on their taxes while you are in university, then you don’t qualify. That’s one thing to consider.
Additionally, if you do end up with a public defender they can’t handle any aspect of the case that’s not related to the criminal courts. For example, if a driver’s license hearing is needed, they are unable to do it because it’s outside of their legislated mandate. However, having a public defender is better than nothing; it’s just that the reality is they don’t have the time or the resources to do the job correctly. It’s one of the reasons many lawyers stop working as a public defender.
With a private attorney, the problem people run into is many times is fake ratings. These ratings are not ratings of the Florida Bar. Quite frankly, there is a bunch of spam out there. The systems are very easy to rig to get favorable reviews and the only question someone needs to ask if they are considering hiring private counsel on a DUI case is very, very simple. They only need one question. Are you certified as a specialist in criminal law by the Florida Bar? The answer is either yes or no. That tells you whether they are using all of these corporate manufactured website ratings to hide the fact that they are not certified.
Less than half of a percent of the lawyers in Florida are certified specialists. Even still, with a hundred thousand lawyers, that leaves almost four hundred to pick from. So, if someone wants to get the best representation they possibly can, they just need to remember that question. Certified lawyers have been through the certification process, and the two-day Florida Bar exam, is nothing compared to that. It’s easily the hardest test taken by any attorney and Stephen Cobb was fortunate enough to pass on the first time. Last year, across the state, almost 90% of the lawyers who took the certification exam failed. For example, in some parts of the state like Northwest Florida, the first judicial circuit, every lawyer who took it failed. There are sections of the state where lawyers can’t ever pass the test. Therefore, it is always advised to look for a certified specialist.
If you are Facing A DUI Charge In Florida, It Is Important To Contact An Experienced DUI Defense Attorney Instead Of A Public Defender. Call the criminal defense office of Stephen G. Cobb for a FREE Initial Consultation at and get the information and legal answers you’re seeking.