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Preliminary Hearing

Huntsville, AL |

What if your lawyer was retained in November, prelim was in December and handled by a public defender because lawyer didn't notify the court that he was retained. At the prelim, the prisoner wasn't called into the courtroom but the public defender waived his rights without him knowing until after it was done. Is there anything that can be done to the lawyer and for the prisoner?

Attorney Answers 2


Waiving a Preliminary Hearing without the consent of the client is a huge problem in our area. I routinely see Preliminary Hearings waived by attorneys without them haven spoke to their clients. Most all of the time, there is an advantage to waiving the Preliminary Hearing, but not in all cases--particularly if a client is incarcerated. The retained attorney could likely file a Motion to Withdraw the Waiver and reset the matter. The State may have already submitted the case to Grand Jury for consideration, however. If the Grand Jury returns and indictment, there would be no Preliminary Hearing. It can be a very frustrating situation. In Madison County (Huntsville), we do not have a Public Defender system. I would try to find out why a Court-appointed attorney was answering the docket for a case in which there was supposed to be a retained attorney.

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Maybe, but what harm was done.

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