Skip to main content

If you are Black and you get a White public defender, do you have a constitutional right to a Black public defender?

Raleigh, NC |

If you are Black and you get a White public defender, do you have a constitutional right to a Black public defender?

I think it is called a Batson counsel request or something like that.

Attorney Answers 9

  1. No. Batson is something altogether different.

  2. No. Race has nothing to do with counsel. A Batson challenge is if one of the attorneys excuses a JUROR from the jury pool solely based on race.

    The information provided in this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not considered to be legal advice. Mr. Leroi answers questions on Avvo because he strongly believes in public service from his years as a judge, magistrate, and prosecutor. If you need to ask any follow up questions because my answer did not fully address your question, feel free to call Chris or post an additional question. Thank you.

  3. Case law firmly establishes that if you have appointed counsel, you don't get counsel of your choice and you certainly don't get your racial preference.
    As my colleagues suggest, Batson has nothing to do with right to counsel, it's a case regarding race and jury selection.

    No legal advice is given here. My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must NOT be relied upon as if they were legal advice. I give legal advice ONLY in the course of a formal attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions & Answers forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by joint execution of a written agreement for legal services. I am only licensed in the States of California and New York and the District of Columbia

  4. As Mr. Solis said, you can always hire you own, but the Public defender is assigned. I am really surprised that you would think race would afford a better criminal defense. I know many of the Public Defenders in Wake County, and there are no slackers there.

  5. The Wake County Public Defender's Office has some of the finest attorneys in the county, without respect to race.

    This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to form a client/lawyer relationship. You can contact me for a limited telephone consultation or an email consultation at my website,, which is listed below. In addition to operating my own firm, I also work for North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services, Inc., a non-profit law firm which exists to protect the rights of prisoners in the custody of the state of North Carolina. If a loved one is in prison in North Carolina, advise the inmate that they may write to North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services, Inc. NCPLS will review their case at no cost and will litigate at no cost to the inmate if the case meets NCPLS' standards. NCPLS can also provide some assistance to inmates seeking to represent themselves. I am also available for cases that do not deal with inmates incarcerated in North Carolina's jails and prisons.

  6. No. If you qualify for the appointment of counsel, you do not get to select the race of your counsel. Your question is indicative of racism. I am a white attorney and defend all my clients with the same level of skill regardless of race. Attorneys work for the Public Defender's Office because they want to ensure that people of all socio-economic backgrounds receive the benefit of quality representation. A Batson motion is where one side removes jurors from a panel for racial or prejudicial reasons.

  7. No, you do not have a right to a black public defender.

  8. As a former Assistant Public Defender may I advise that you do them a favor and hire an attorney?

    This general legal advice does not create an attorney-client relationship. Every case is individual and to have legal advice that you can rely on you need to talk to an attorney one on one, answer their questions, and hire them.

Criminal defense topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

An attorney can help.

Post a question and get free legal advice from attorneys.

Ask a Lawyer

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics