This link is to an interesting article on what the average person often faces in the criminal justice system and after the case (Koch is a libertarian, but that is a concept too complex for most journalists). We are the land of the free but lead the world in incarceration — we either have the worst people or a stealth police state. Don’t face it with some half-baked lawyer.
What cannot be stressed enough is the enormous resource disparity between the state and the individual. The state has, for most intents and purposes, unlimited time, money, and people it can throw at a case. The defendant often has to rely on the state to turn over evidence and has severe resource limits.
One bit of advice to anyone accused: if you hire a lawyer, make sure s/he is good. Get specifics (cases tried to verdict, for example) and VERIFY. I have had people chuck me as PD and pay some schlub $6K to plead straight up on a drug case that I would’ve gotten thrown out, and I have taken over cases as a private lawyer where I was able to improve the PD’s negotiation of a felony into a non-felony. If your sixth sense tells you that your lawyer sucks, s/he probably does. Call me: 702.701.4391.