Would you like to be defended by an attorney who spent just 7 minutes on your entire defense? That is the average time Orleans Parish Public Defenders spend on each case. Nationwide, Public Defenders are at a “staggering disadvantage” defending accused citizens against government prosecutors. This according to the United States Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr., who described the public defender systems nationwide as being in a “state of crisis”. For this reason the Justice Department recently signaled that it is being forced to take a greater role in ensuring that citizens receive the competent legal representation guaranteed by the US Constitution.
Public Defenders in Louisiana represent more than 80 percent of DWI and other criminal defendants and this caseload prevents them from giving the time and detailed attention to each case they handle. The New York Times recently noted that nowhere is the Public Defender’s disadvantage greater than in New Orleans. Despite profession guidelines which recommend that Public Defenders handle no more than 400 misdemeanor cases per year, Orleans Parish Public Defenders routinely handle the equivalent of 19,000 cases per year. This means that these Louisiana Public Defenders spend only about seven minutes per case! See: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/08/opinion/sunday/federal-oversight-on-public-defense.html?_r=1. By way of comparison, Kentucky spends 400% more than Louisiana on its Public Defender system yet Kentucky only has 25% of the crime that Louisiana does.
If you have been charged with a DWI you need to be represented by experienced counsel with specialized training in DWI defense. Your case needs to be closely reviewed for all possible defenses and to insure that law enforcement comply with the law and their own regulations and procedures. Where law enforcement fails to follow the law, your case may be dismissed or the charges against you reduced.
Get your case reviewed today by DWI lawyer James Bates. Call our St. Tammany Parish office in Slidell at 985-643-0316.