Should I Rely on a Public Defender for Cases Involving a Minor?

Should I Rely on a Public Defender for Cases Involving a Minor - gavel and juvenile law base with library and scales of justice in background

It’s scary and stressful when your child is in trouble and needs legal help, and you may be wondering something along the lines of, “Should I rely on a public defender for cases involving a minor?”

We get it. After all, minors face different rules and different consequences. So you may be thinking that a public defender is “good enough.”

But is “good enough” really what you want when it comes to a decision that affects your child’s future?

Is a “good enough” attorney who you want to trust to defend your child?

The Juvenile Court System is Different than the Adult System

The court system for adults is based on punishment of crimes, but the juvenile system is based on rehabilitation. There are different rules and different procedures in place for dealing with minors.

Because of these differences, it’s essential that your child is represented by an attorney who thoroughly understands and has experience with juvenile defense.

Public Defenders and Juvenile Defense

Public defenders are licensed attorneys, and many are even passionate about the job they do. But they also often juggle large case loads. And the court appoints them, you don’t get to choose.

When it comes to representing minors, there are some legal requirements that public defenders must meet in order to be appointed to a case involving a minor.

The law requires them to have a minimum of 12 hours of specialized training in juvenile representation during the most recent 12-month period, or they must have dedicated at least 50% of their practice to representing juveniles during each of the most recent three years.

These requirements — which don’t apply to private attorneys — ensure that you at least are working with someone qualified to represent your child.

But with the sheer number of cases they are appointed, public defenders face challenges with time and resources. They may have limited time and resources to devote to any individual case.

Private Attorneys and Juvenile Defense

Private attorneys, on the other hand, are in charge of their own case load and only take on clients that they have the proper time and resources to represent to the best of their ability.

These private attorneys generally have more resources available to them.

And, perhaps most importantly, you’re in control of who you hire to represent your child.

However, because there are no legal requirements pertaining to private attorneys representing minors, it’s up to you to make sure that the private attorney you choose has the proper training, experience, and passion for defending your child.

Even the very best criminal defense attorney — in adult cases — may not be the best choice in a case involving a minor.

The Best of Both Worlds

The decision is yours, and the answer to the question of “Should I rely on a public defender for cases involving a minor?” is one that only you can answer.

But what if you could have the best of both worlds?

The best of both worlds is a private attorney of your choice who can dedicate all the time and resources that is necessary for your child’s defense AND who has the juvenile training and experience legally required by public defenders who represent minors.

This best of both worlds is Juvenile Defense Attorney Sally Vecchiarelli.

She has met and exceeded the requirements of both training and experience. Juvenile representation is a major focus (over 50%) of her legal practice at Proper Defense. And as a mom herself, she knows how important your child’s future is to you.

If you need to hire a juvenile defense attorney to represent your child and protect their future, contact us today for a free consultation.

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