The Difference Between a Private Criminal Defense Lawyer and a Public Defender | Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys
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Worgul, Sarna & Ness

CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS, LLC

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The Difference Between a Private Criminal Defense Lawyer and a Public Defender

If you need a criminal defense lawyer, you may be wondering whether you should hire a private attorney or work with the public defender’s office. While both can be beneficial, it is often better for your case to have a private criminal defense attorney on your side.

To speak with a Pittsburgh criminal defense lawyer today, do not hesitate to contact our team at Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC. To learn all of your legal options, call us at (412) 281-2146 right away for a free consultation.

The Use of Public Defenders Is Reserved for Indigent Defendants

The Alleghany County Public Defender’s Office, which handles cases in and around Pittsburgh, will not take your case if your household exceeds the following income limits:

  • Family of one – $12,140 per year of $1,012 per month
  • Family of two – $16,460 per year or $1,372 per month
  • Family of three – $20,780 per year or $1,732 per month
  • Family of four – $25,100 per year or $2,092 per month
  • Family of five – $29,420 per year or $2,452 per month
  • Family of six – $33,740 per year or $2,812 per month
  • Family of seven – $38,060 per year or $3,172 per month
  • Family of eight – $42,380 per year or $3,532 per month

If you are a part of a household with over eight people, add $4,320 for each additional individual. Many people find themselves just past these cutoff zones and are unable to benefit from free legal representation. But, there are benefits to not using the public defender’s office and going with a private criminal defense attorney instead.

A Private Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Better Help You With Your Case

In Alleghany County, the public defender’s office has come under fire for not defending its clients vigorously enough. In 1996, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued the office on behalf of defendants who were not given constitutionally adequate representation. The Alleghany County Public Defender’s Office settled that case, and in 2011, the ACLU released a report that criticized the office’s performance.

The problem is that in Pennsylvania, public defender’s offices have too many clients, insufficient funding, and not enough attorneys to go around. To make matters worse, the office often switches attorneys assigned to cases at different stages of the process. One lawyer may be at your preliminary hearing and another at your trial.

Having one attorney dedicated to your case from beginning to end is much more advantageous. When going through the legal process, it is imperative that you work side by side with a skilled lawyer whom you know is entirely focusing on your case. You deserve the full attention of your attorney, and our Pittsburgh criminal defense attorneys can give you the focus and legal help that you need to get through this challenging time.

How Our Pittsburgh Criminal Defense Lawyers Can Assist You

At Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC, we are dedicated to developing case strategies that result in positive outcomes. When you are facing criminal charges, you owe it to yourself and your family to invest in a strong defense. If you or a family member has been charged with a crime, contact us today at (412) 281-2146 to learn how we can defend you during a free and confidential consultation.

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