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If you have a public defender and go all the way to making a guilty plea .

Seattle, WA |
Filed under: Criminal defense

is possible to hire a lawyer just before you go to court for sentencing if your not satisfied with the public defenders progress

Attorney Answers 4


You have a right to represent yourself or retain private counsel at any stage of the prosecution that you wish (even if it's just for sentencing).

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It is indeed possible to hire a lawyer for just your sentencing, but there are potential complications you should be aware of. Often times a plea bargain is reached with an agreed recommended sentence. If your intent is to have a new lawyer argue for a different sentence, that could affect your plea bargain. Additionally, since a new lawyer would likely need more time to properly represent you at your sentencing (as they were not on board throughout the case thus far), the court might think that you are simply trying to delay your sentencing.

I don't mention these things to dissuade you from any decision, but rather just to point out concerns that you should be aware of. Most criminal defense lawyers offer free consultations and would be happy to talk with you about your individual situation, and help you decide how to proceed.

Good luck.

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2 lawyers agree


Yes. You cannot choose your public defender, but yoo can choose to fire your attorney ( public or private) at almost any point in a case and hire another attorney. I would assume the public defender vs would be more than happy to find a substitution of counsel and have one less case to worry about.

Scott. Lawrence
Law Office of Scott Lawrence

Sent from my Motorola Smartphone on the Now Network from Sprint!

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If you have sufficient funds, you have the right to hire an attorney if it does not cause an unreasonable delay of your case. I have substituted into many cases at the sentencing phase. You should know that if you retain counsel for sentencing, they will need to do a lot more than just appear with you at the sentencing hearing. They will need to obtain your file from previous counsel and review it. They will need to meet with you and find out information relevant to advocating for you at sentencing. They will need to review the prosecutor's submission to the Court and draft a defense sentencing memorandum that will be reviewed by the judge in preparation for sentencing.

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