The State has provided me with a free attorney. Why should I hire one?
Virginia has some of the weakest compensation for court-appointed defense attorneys, offering them fees of just a few hundred dollars per case. For instance, an attorney that represents a client that is facing twenty years in jail has his payments capped out at just over $1000. This can cause them to encourage their clients to plead out if it looks like the case is going to take awhile.
Although one of the better aspects of our justice system is that those that can't afford legal assistance are provided a free lawyer, the saying "You Get What You Pay For" certainly applies here.