The High Cost of Using a Public Defender

Law gavel and cash depicting high cost of public defender

Are you facing charges in Michigan and think you will have to accept the services of a public defender?

I want to show you why you should think again; why you should never put your life in the hands of a public defender.

$13 Million Wasted, Many Rotting In Jail

The state of Michigan is one of the worst states to be arrested if you don’t have an adequate defense.

According to a report by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Michigan has wasted at least $13 million in taxpayer dollars to convict and incarcerate people who weren’t guilty of the crimes for which they went to jail.

In Michigan, the 83 counties are responsible for providing public defense to those who can’t afford it, but the system was never robust.

The standards of defense do not meet those laid out by the constitution.

The 13 people whose stories are documented in the ACLU report are thought to be a tiny minority of what probably exists in our criminal justice system.

The report includes people who are innocent but whose attorneys lacked the resources to mount an adequate defense, or whose punishments far outstripped what the facts of their case demanded.

Many more people will never see justice because of Michigan’s broken public defense system.

What Our Public Defense System Lacks

If you are or someone you love is facing a police investigation, criminal charges, or a criminal trial, please take a look at these criteria laid out by the American Bar Association. Michigan’s public defense system often fails to meet it.

Free Of Political Influence

Public defenders are hired, supervised, compensated, and fired by politicians or judges.

The other side essentially controls them. We have an adversarial judicial system, which means these practices compromise the quality of defense obtained by a public defender.

Funded By the State

The state of Michigan has delegated public defense to its counties rather than directly funding the system. As a result, these offices are often underfunded.

Timely Representation

Many of the crucial decisions in an investigation are made in the first few days and hours after an arrest is made.

A good defense is one that starts as soon as possible; hopefully, even before a police investigation ends.

Adequate Time & Attention

If you read the ACLU report, almost everyone who was wrongly imprisoned had only one or two meetings with their public defender.

Often, public defenders don’t see cases until the day before the trial. There is not enough time to mount a convincing defense in one or two days, especially in complex felony cases.

This failing is not a result of a public defender being lazy. Public defenders in Michigan have been shown to carry a workload up to 6 times higher than what is recommended.

Experienced Attorneys

Court-appointed attorneys who lack experience in complex cases can miss crucial details or fail to challenge speculations made by the prosecution.

Many of those wrongly convicted would not have been sent to prison if their attorneys had known what they were doing.

Comparable Resources

Public defenders lack the financial resources to mount a defense.

While the state has vast resources to hire police, investigators, prosecutors, expert witnesses, and lab tests, public defenders often have access to few, if any, of these things.

Not only that, but public defenders aren’t usually free. You may have to reimburse your court costs and attorneys fees depending on your charges, the verdict, and your ability to pay. You may even have to pay these fees as a condition of your parole.

Experienced Michigan Defense Attorney

David J. Kramer, Detroit Criminal Attorney

David J. Kramer, Michigan Criminal Attorney

The United States has an incarceration rate that is eight times higher than other industrialized nations.

Our public defender system is not working well for those who use it. This results in innocent people to jail and getting harsher penalties than they should.

No matter what you are charged with, you deserve to have a competitive and adequate defense. You need a private and experienced defense attorney.

Call my office today for your free consultation.

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