What If You Don't Think Your Public Defender Is Doing A Good Job?


In the United States, if you've been charged with a crime, you have the right to a defense attorney. If you can't afford one, a public defender (an attorney paid for by the government), will be appointed to represent you. What happens, however, if you feel like the public defender isn't doing a good job?

You can't change public defenders easily.

If you have a private defense attorney, you can usually fire him or her and hire a new one without much trouble. However, if you want to replace your public defender with a new one, you have to have the judge's permission. That may not be easy to come by.

You need to present your case to the judge.

  • You generally need to write the judge and detail your reasons for wanting a new public defender. You will want to be very specific about why you feel that the public defender isn't doing a good job. The key to remember, here, is that a judge won't replace a public defender just because you don't like him or her. You want to focus on the fact that you think that your public defender is actually ineffective counsel and is violating your right to adequate representation.

Make sure that you tell the judge about specific instances that could be considered a problem:

  • unreturned phone calls or missed meetings
  • not providing you with information about plea deals that have been offered 
  • trying to push you into accepting a plea against your will 
  • an unwillingness to speak to your witnesses or look at important evidence 
  • confusing your case with another case or you with another defendant

The judge will look at several different issues when deciding if you have a right to new counsel. One consideration is the timing of your request. If the court believes that your request will unnecessarily delay the court proceedings, your request will be denied.

Another consideration is whether or not you've already made such a request. You'll have more luck requesting a new attorney if it's the first time. You can expect any subsequent requests to meet with a lot of resistance.

You may have a better option.

One option that you have is to fire the public defender and hire a private defense attorney. If you don't have the money for one yourself, it may be possible to get help from family members or friends to pay for a private defense. That way you can choose the attorney you want and feel confident in his or her abilities to get you through this process.

To consult with criminal law attorneys, contact a law firm such as Anggelis & Gordon Attorneys At Law.


4 December 2015

take a lawyer to criminal court

Until marijuana is legalized in every state, there will be courtrooms filled with those who are deemed criminals for possessing and using it. If you have been charged with the possession and use of marijuana, you need an attorney. Having gone through this with my son, I know that the courts are not pleased with these charges and things don't always turn out well. This blog will show you several examples of what can happen if you go to court for criminal charges without having an attorney working on your side to protect your rights and reduce the consequences as much as possible.