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How do I get a Marsden Motion in the State of California

Martinez, CA |
Filed under: Criminal defense

I have been charged with a crime in July 2009-I was given a PD. We have absolutely no communication or even like for each other-(personally I think she ventured into the wrong career). In November of 2009 I requested from her a Marsden Motion and asked her to get it on the Court calender- she said "NO". I have a readiness trial set for 3/30 and she has spoken to no one in my defense and she stated "she has no defense"-If this is to go to trial-I would prefer an Attorney who knows what they are doing- at the very least, followed up with my witnesses that show I have been telling the truth-how do I get rid of my PD and get a court appointed attorney? Can I write a letter to the Judge requesting this-do I need to send a letter to the DA?

Attorney Answers 2


You need to communicate with the court, not the District Attorney. Understand however, that the court has discretion, and will not grant the Marsden motion simply because you and your Public Defender do not get along.

Be prepared to cite very specific details of inadequacies. Practically speaking, you might ask to speak with your Public Defender's supervisor.

If you cannot calendar a Marsden hearing before your trial readiness conference, let the Judge know of your concerns during the conference. The Judge may immediately clear the courtroom and conduct the hearing.

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The judge will not read your letter; however, if your attorney refuses to inform the court that you wish to make a Marsden motion, speak up and say you want to make the motion or if you stumble say you want to fire your attorney. At that point the judge will clear the courtroom of everyone but courtroom staff, you and your attorney and you can explain your problem. That you dislike each other is probably not enough. You will have to show the court how your attorney's defense has prejudiced your case.

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