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Can a defendant ask the judge for self representation in a criminal case in a jury trial since his 3 former lawyers failed him?

Los Angeles, CA |

First can a defendant ask the judge if he could represent himself in his criminal case during the jury trial? Second, how much time is he allowed to have to prepare for his trial once he fires his current attorney next hearing? Does he have the right to receive his complete criminal file including the subpoenas (phone records, emails and text messages) /transcripts/police reports about him and the alleged victim(his wife) from his current attorney?

Attorney Answers 10

Posted

A defendant always as the right to waive attorney but in my opinion representing ones self at trial is a sure path to conviction. The defendant can get the discovery as well. Unless the defendant is trained in evidence and procedure, doing this on their own us not very sun mart

This is for general information only. Nothing in this information should be construed as creating an attorney-client relationship nor shall any of this information be construed as providing legal advice. Laws change over time and differ from state to state. These answers are based on California Law.Applicability of the legal principles discussed may differ substantially in individual situations. You should not act upon the information presented herein without consulting an attorney about your particular situation. No attorney-client relationship is established.

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Posted

Yes you can waive your right to an attorney and represent yourself but I would not recommend doing so. Attorney have years of legal training, have passed a bar exam, and have ongoing training so they are much better equipped to handle a trial where complex legal questions can arise. In some jurisdictions a Judge might appoint you with a standby counsel to provide you with legal information but not advice. In addition, there are complex evidence objections you would want to make to keep evidence out and to keep the prosecutor from asking improper questions. Leave trials to a professional. It is up to the Judge on whether or not to give you more time but you do have a right to a speedy trial and the Judge may be concerned about further delay. Keep in mind any delay caused by your request will not count towards the time limit allowed for a speedy trial. Once you have waived your right to an attorney all the discovery will be provided to you and any further requests for information you will be able to make directly to the prosecutor.

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Posted

Even most criminal defense attorneys would hire a lawyer to represent them at trial. A defendant certainly has the right to represent himself, but it is a horrible idea. There are a lot of rules, laws and procedures that you need to know in order to mount an effective defense. The defendant in this case can probably do a lot to help with his own defense, but should have a lawyer for any criminal case. If the attorney finds it advisable, he may even choose to testify.

If he insists upon going at the case alone, he will have to file what is called a subpoena duces tecum to get any of the records you're talking about. The prosecutor will have to provide him with any evidence they have, but remember: the evidence that they've gathered has led them to the conclusion that they can convict him at trial. This case my need further investigation to help build the evidence that proves HIS side. The cops aren't looking for it.

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Posted

You fired 3 attorneys and you expect a bunch of us to help you? Joke...

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Posted

Of course you have this right. The prosecutor will eat you for lunch and toss the bones.

My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.

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Posted

They say that a person who represents himself has a fool for a client. Good advice. You've fired three attorneys, huh? Would love to watch the trial - your prosecutor will have a field day and so will you as the rules of evidence beat you over the head.

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Posted

3 attorneys? Quit smoking whatever you are smoking.

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2 comments

Asker

Posted

For both you Mr Shafer and MR MIchaels, I'm posing these questions because obviously I did not get help from the 3 attorneys that I spent $27.000 who proved to us their dishonesty so far. FYI, we don't smoke and we're very normal and honest citizens. It's a long story and it would NOT be proper to give details in here about the case. Bottom line, these attorneys got bought by the other side because the "alleged victim" has law enforcement connection and now with some DISHONEST CA ATTORNEYS, my DISABLED brother who became a VICTIM of his defense attorneys is behind bars for over a year. The first attorney that got fired for his dishonesty in August refused to get any dirt and take the case to trial despite they (the DA that got out of the case) confessed to him that they are just interested in deporting him (defendant). The alleged victim fabricated a case against her husband to get rid of him since his mission ended when they landed in "THE LAND OF OPPORTUNITY" IN 2008, she used him as a ticket to come to this country. Since he (husband)'s going to be a financial burden on her(once she was advised about the divorce law in CA) because he's disabled and more than 10 years of marriage with 2 kids and also she's hoping to get the VAWA since her fabricated religious asylum was not found to be credible by the US government for the last 4 years. The second attorney got fired in January because he whited out some phone records that prove one of her lies (one of the testimony in the criminal court )(the dates in question) and kept the other dates and never disclosed them that prove another lie in the (restraining order hearing) civil court......etc. The third is here but not here, it's been almost 3 weeks no news, in this case I can only assume bad news because so far we got trained and learned these ATTORNEYS MO's.

Michael Douglas Shafer

Michael Douglas Shafer

Posted

My comment was tongue in cheek, but in light of your last, I recuse myself.

Posted

If you don't already know the answers to the questions you posted then why do you think you are capable of doing a better job than the 3 attorneys you have already fired? There are so many technical rules of evidence and court procedure that you will never know or understand, and the DA can easily take advantage of you because of it. The first thing the judge will tell you is that you will NOT be given any leniency or patience for not knowing these rules and you will be treated as if you should already know these things. The old adage rings true: an attorney who represents himself has a fool for a client.

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Posted

You have an absolute right to represent yourself, you'll make everyone's job easier: your defense attorney will focus on clients that want to be represented, the prosecutor can stay out late knowing that he's gonna have a cake walk at trial the next day, and the jury will take one look at you and realize they'll have a quick deliberation. Sorry but that's the reality; nobody takes pro per defendants seriously. On a par with someone trying to perform heart surgery on themselves. Good luck.

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Posted

Contact an attorney regarding this issue.

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