When a person is charged with a felony, this means they have been accused of committing a serious criminal offense. The person is being charged with causing a high degree of damage to a person or to property owned by another. When charged with a felony, it is necessary to have legal representation when the felony case goes to court. That representation may be in the form of a felony attorney or a public defender. These are the ways these two types of legal defense may differ.
Who They Work For
A felony attorney may work for himself and be self-employed, work for a law firm or he may only take cases for specific government agencies or non-profit organizations. They may only take on certain felony cases that they feel they have a strong possibility of winning. A public defender usually only works for government appointed agencies. This may include a county attorney's office or a public defense agency run by a city depending on the location of the case.
Who Pays For Services
A public defender is not paid by the client he is representing. In fact, the purpose of a public defender is to provide legal representation for those clients who are unable to afford to pay an attorney. Therefore, the services of a public attorney are paid by the government office he is employed by. Usually a public defender's fees for services are pre-determined by the government agency he is employed by and may vary somewhat depending on the type of case he is representing.
A felony attorney is paid in full by the client, his family or anyone else who agrees to take on the responsibility of paying for services. The felony attorney gets to decide what the amount is he will charge for services. Felony attorneys commonly earn more than public defenders because they have the ability to charge as much as they feel their time is worth. There are usually separate court costs and filing fees the client must pay as well.
Who Chooses the Attorney
When hiring a felony attorney, the client has complete freedom in choosing which attorney will represent him. If after hiring one attorney he is not satisfied with the service, the client can also fire that attorney and hire a new one. However, this is not the case when being represented by a public defender. The court system appoints which public defender will represent the client. If the client is not happy with the public defenders services, it is not always an easy task to convince the court to allow the switch to a different public defender.
Both felony attorneys and public defenders are licensed to represent clients who have been charged with a felony. Choosing which to be represented by often depends mainly on what the client can afford
For more information on felony attorneys. contact a firm in Lakewood, CO.