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Public Defenders: A Bad Idea in New Jersey

Some people may think that using a public defender is the best way to handle pending DWI charges as it will be the least expensive option. However, public defenders are ill-equipped to handle DWI cases—and you may not even qualify to hire one of these anyway.

Larger Case Loads

In New Jersey, public defenders have extremely large case loads. As a result, they very rarely review the cases they are handling before the day of court. These attorneys are not familiar with their clients, the clients ’concerns or any personal issues.

No Time to Investigate

Public defenders are not going to conduct the type of investigation a private attorney would. While there is money available in certain jurisdictions to cover the expense of expert witnesses and other resources that could benefit a case, public defenders rarely avail themselves of these ancillary services.

Lacking the Right Experience

Perhaps most troubling of all, most public defenders do not have the training and experience necessary to handle the complexity of DWI cases. Very few of these attorneys review a client’s medical background to use that information in building a solid defense.

It is important to understand that working with a public defender is not automatic; not everyone is eligible to receive these services. Individuals must meet certain income-based requirements in order to qualify for a public defender.