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Would a public defender be good or should we find a defense lawyer with his/her own practice. what possible outcome could result

Charlottesville, VA |

my son is in custody for 3 class 6 felonies and a class one misdemeanor. he is 20 years old and it is his first offense.

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Attorney answers 4


A lot of things could happen. What you should do is consult with a good criminal defense attorney in your area and discuss what outcomes they might think are reasonable. It may be he has a defense to some or all the charges.

This response does not create an attorney client relationship and is offered for informational purposes only. Only a lawyer fully versed on the facts and circumstances of your case can properly advise you on the case. I am licensed to practice in Minnesota, not every state. You should always consult with an attorney licensed in your area on how best to proceed.


There is this myth of Court appointed or public defenders, that they are somehow less than good. Please understand that many of the best criminal defense attorneys are on the court-appointed list. So do not let that be your basis. If your son qualifies for a public defender or court appointed counsel, then great, go meet with that attorney, and then schedule an appoint to meet other attorneys in the area. If you feel comfortable with the public defender then great, if not then hire the attorney that you feel would best represent your son.


As a former public defender, they do great work and they are passionate about their clients. Unforunately, they get a bad wrap because they usually get the worst facts. I can tell you that Charlottesville is one of the most respective PD's office in the state as well. Meet with the PD and keep an open mind. When I was working at my office, I'd meet with a client only to find out later that they retained. They wasted a great opportunity at virtually free, excellent representation.

James S. Abrenio

This answer does not create a attorney/client relationship, but is intended solely in the court of discussion. It is always my recommendation to retain an attorney whenever a court appearance is necessary. This recommendation is highlighted when it relates to an individual's criminal record.

Philip Douglas Cave

Philip Douglas Cave


Seen it from both sides. There are good and bad public defenders. But there are also good and bad retained counsel. Meet with the attorney, IF you qualify for a public defender.


It has been my experience that the quality of the defense an accused receives is directly related to the level of contact, and the level of honesty, the accused has with the attorney and this has nothing to do with whether the attorney is court-appointed or retained. If, however, your son does not receive a visit from the attorney shortly after appointment of counsel or he is otherwise concerned about the level of representation, he may be able to seek the assistance of the Virginia State Bar or the Virginia Indigent Defense Commission. He may also seek the appointment of another attorney after explaining to the Court his concerns about the attorney appointed to him.

In answering this question, we have not created an attorney-client relationship. You must execute my engagement agreement and pay my fee before we have an attorney-client relationship. Any response I may post is based solely on the limited information you have provided and there may be other circumstances you fail to include that will affect your legal rights. If you wish to have a legal opinion or seek representation, you may contact me via my website and we may establish an attorney-client relationship at that time.

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