How Often Public Defenders Win Cases | A Statistical Guide by Expert


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The easy solution to how public defenders win cases is that it relies upon the case. When public defenders represent defendants accused of felonies, the public defender’s office maintains a conviction rate of about 81 percent. Let’s learn how often public defenders win cases.

When the public defender represents a defendant accused of misdemeanors, the public defender’s conviction rate is about 92 percent. These numbers are a touch dated; however, they develop an idea of the defense legal professionals’ achievement charge. 

How Often Public Defenders Win Cases

How Often Public Defenders Win Cases

As enticing as it can be to “hope for the best” when your future is on the line, you should know how likely your public defender is to win your case. You don’t want to have any false hopes or unrealistic expectations about what could happen if you are found guilty.

Here are some statistics which show you just how serious of a situation you’re in and how much hope may be misplaced:

  • Public defenders win 61% of their jury trials. This number being so close to even odds makes sense because public defence attorneys have over 1/3 more cases than prosecutors.
  • Out of all cases that go through jury trials, only three percent end in “Not Guilty” verdicts.
  • As compared to public defenders, prosecutors win 95% of their jury trials. Yes, you read that number correctly. And this is why it is so important to have an experienced and skilled criminal defence attorney on your side from the beginning. Not all attorneys are created equal, and not all defend as passionately as others.

While 61% isn’t a very high win percentage for public defenders, they can do better than winning some cases but losing most of them. Some will argue that if a case goes through a jury trial, there is evidence of guilt or innocence affecting the outcome. Still, many people on juries already believe a defendant to be guilty before deliberating no matter what evidence is brought up in the trial.

What Is Public Defender Service?

Public defenders are legal professionals paid via the government to symbolize individuals who cannot find the money to hire their very own attorney. Public defenders are generally assigned to represent clients accused of committing a crime in the county or state where they live. 

They are typically paid less than private attorneys and spend less time on each case. Whereas a personal attorney generally has a caseload of between 200 and 300 clients, a typical public defender handles around 1500 to 2000 cases a year. If you have been accused of a crime and cannot afford to hire a lawyer, you’ll probably be assigned a public defender. 

Public defenders employed by the county or state government are usually lawyers in private practice who work part-time for the government. They are required to meet specific training and experience requirements. They usually need to have at least five years of experience to be eligible for this work. 

How to Choose a Public Defender?

Step 1: first of all, you want to remember that while you pick out a public defender, your lifestyle is no longer in your arms. He will be responsible for your life, and you will have to work with him only.

Step 2: You need to search cyberspace to find the best public defender. It would help if you also looked for the one who has been practising for a longer period in that region as it would be easier for him to understand the local culture of the people.

Step 3: If you cannot find the best public defender, you can look for the reviews, which would give you a better idea of what type of defence you would get from the staff.

Step 4: After that, if the reviews are positive, you can contact the attorney and try to get a feel of his personality as to how much he would be able to defend your case. If the reviews are negative, you can search for the other as there are other options.

Why Is It So Important To Have A Public Defender?

Public Defender – The lawyer appointed to represent someone who cannot afford a private attorney. The appointment of a public defender is not a guarantee that the defendant will represent in court. It is an opportunity for the defendant to be conveyed free of charge.

Public Defender Winning Statistics

How Often Public Defenders Win Cases

The government pays public defenders. They have a set caseload and have to work with a set budget. There are no bonuses for winning and no penalties for losing. Prosecutors usually have quotas, and if they don’t meet those quotas, they get in trouble.

In many cases, prosecutors will lie to get a defendant to take a plea deal before trial. Public defenders, which represent you, are appointed by the Judge. They are not trying to win your case and get you off. They are trying to get you a fair deal and see that you don’t get railroaded.

Even though Judges appoint public defenders, it’s not uncommon for them to railroad into a plea they don’t want. The Judge can put high bail on you, and then the public defender has to work within the Judge’s guidelines. They have to get a lot of cases cleared to pay their rent and their bills.

They need the Judge to keep assigning those cases. Many public defenders will take a plea deal when they shouldn’t just to get the case closed out so they can move on to the next one.

  • 97% of public defenders keep their clients out of jail
  • 97% of public defenders win their cases
  • Public defenders have won over 99.8% of their cases
  • Public defenders have a proven track record of winning cases

What Is A Public Defender’s Role In Winning A Case? 

A Public Defender is a state-appointed lawyer representing defendants who cannot afford to retain counsel. The public defender’s function is to make sure that a lawyer represents the defendant at every vital level of a criminal proceeding; this includes the initial appearance, arraignment, bail hearing, pretrial motion practise, and trial. 

However, the public defender is not supposed to provide legal advice to the defendant. In the case of a conflict of interest, the public defender’s office may require to withdraw from representation.

What Are The Best Practices Of The Public Defender?

What Are The Best Practices Of The Public Defender

When you have an arrest, you can have the public defender represent you. But many people think the public defender is not a good choice. That’s because people think of the public defender as the cheap lawyer. But the public defender is an excellent lawyer who has a big heart and passion for serving the people.

The public defender has more revel in within the court docket. He’s going to try his first-rate to make specific your rights blanket. He knows that you might lose your freedom, and your family might lose their income. He cares about you. However, if you want to get a genuine and honest lawyer, look for a private lawyer, who may charge a lot of money. 

But the price is just for the lawyer, who has graduated from the top law schools and works at one of the top law firms. The lawyer, who has more experience and knowledge, will ensure every detail is taken care of. When you have an arrest, you want to decide. The public defender is an excellent lawyer who cares about you. The private lawyer is the top lawyer in the country.

Public Defender’s win/Loss Ratio

According to our records, the public defender’s office had a 60% win/loss ratio for their last few cases. The office has been increasing its win rate lately, although the previous win rate was already much higher than the average win rate for most of the state. This increased win rate is due to a recent change in their case strategies. 

Still, despite their increasing win/loss ratio, many critics have expressed concern about the prosecution’s current tactics. Chief amongst these critics is the head of the workplace, who claims that the workplace’s first responsibility is to the client, now not to the general public. His workplace will maintain to combat justice for the county residents no matter any criticism. 

Arrested? A public defender could be your best ally: 

With good legal representation by your side, you can feel secure knowing your rights protect and provide the best defense possible. If you’ve been arrested and need help fighting your case, look into the services of a public defender. 

These attorneys are specialized in criminal law and are committed to helping you get back on your feet. Having a public defender can help even the most challenging case. For instance, if you’re dealing with drug possession, assault, domestic abuse, or even theft charges, you can fight them with the help of a lawyer who can see the big picture and work hard to lessen the punishments and make sure you’re released from jail quickly.

Problems of Public Defenders

Problems of Public Defenders

In the United States, public defenders represent people who cannot afford an attorney. Public defenders work in the state’s attorney’s office and give a specific caseload. Their salaries are decided through the kingdom and are not much higher than a starting legal professional’s income. Some public defenders are overload with cases.

They might have upwards of fifty cases at one time and very little time to devote to each case. Lengthy hours and dealing with the consistent strain can purpose health troubles and intellectual exhaustion. If you’re looking for a worthwhile profession, that is a choice not to forget, specifically if you want to help people. But it isn’t always a stroll inside the park.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Do Public Defenders Win Their Cases?

  • Almost Always (100%)
  • Sometimes (67%)
  • Rarely (33%) 
  • Hire an attorney (89%)
  • Use a public defender (11%) 

What Is The Highest Paying State For Public Defenders?

  • New York
  • California
  • Florida 

Which State Has The Highest Average Salary For A Public Defender?

  • California ($58,500)
  • New York ($58,000)
  • Florida ($56,500) 

What Are The Best States To Be A Public Defender?

  • Colorado (the most in-demand)
  • Alaska (the coldest)
  • California (the highest-paid—potential for big cases)


The truth is that it is tough to win a case as a public defender, especially if you are a rookie and have no experience in the field. However, it is possible to win cases if you are diligent and can bring evidence to light that the prosecution had never considered before. In addition, you must have a strong understanding of courtroom proceedings, as this will help you to argue your case more effectively.


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