As a former Assistant Public Defender for the Sixth Judicial Circuit, I can say without a doubt that I worked with some of the most brilliant criminal defense attorneys in the state of Florida. However, like all professions, private and public, there are good lawyers and there are bad lawyers. You should feel comfortable with who you ultimately choose to represent you. Additionally, if you can afford to hire an attorney, you should do so because the court appointed lawyers should only be utilized if you can not afford to hire someone in the private sector.
As for your charge, if you are a first time offender, you may be elligible for a pre-trial intervention program. If you successfully complete this program, your charge may be dismissed.
You may want to talk to a private defense attorney about your options for sealing and expunction. The decisions you make now with your court appointed attorney on your charges will have an effect on your ability to take advantage of these options. Court appointed attorneys typically do not advise clients on this issue as it is outside the scope of their representation. Best of luck!
This answer does not, nor is it intended to, create an attorney-client relationship or constitute attorney advertising. Rather, it is offered solely for information purposes. Since the facts of each case are different, it is critical to consult with qualified counsel with whom information can be shared and assessed under an attorney-client privilege, so that competent advice can be obtained on which you can make informed decisions.
As a former prosecutor, I can tell you that all plea negotiations must be on the record with a 'pro se' defendant. Also, the prosecutor is not going to want to discuss these jury questions with a 'pro se' defendant. You need a public defender or private attorney to engage in discovery for you, to negotiate a favorable plea bargain or to try the case and settle these questions of fact. Use Avvo to find an attorneys in your county. Interview them all and hire the one you are most comfortable with.
The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Florida. Responses are based solely on Florida law unless stated otherwise.
There are many very good Public Defenders, but many assigned to cases like your would have less experience. This isn't to say you won't get a fair shake, but private attorneys generally have more time to work on these cases.
Get the best attorney you can afford.
Avvo.com answers provided solely for informational purposes. Answers are not legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. If you are seeking legal advice, contact a competent attorney in your local jurisdiction. Learn more about my practice at www.drivenlegal.com.