Shouild i get another public defender ?all advice please

Asked over 1 year ago - El Dorado, CA

im going to trial on a criminal case ive constantly been asking for my case file so i can review it. i recently went to court and it seem like nothing has changed. mt public defender doesnt seem to be trying to help me at al i go to court in june starting trial.please any one who could possibly help me i would appriciate it. i need a good but very low cost attorney please

Attorney answers (7)

  1. Nicholas Maurice Rosenberg

    Contributor Level 14

    13

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . My answer to you is that the very low cost attorney that you have is the public defender. Many public defenders have very high caseloads, often in the hundreds for misdemeanors, and they are in trial frequently. If you want more service, such as more client meetings, the attorney's cell phone number, the opportunity to strategize with the attorney, then you will probably have to hire private counsel. As has been pointed out to you, most offer free consultations. Some will accept a payment plan but be advised that in order for a private attorney to shut down his or her practice for four or five days to do your jury trial takes some doing and there are costs associated with this. If you determine you cannot hire private counsel, you may try asking for a different public defender, however it is the office which is appointed and it will be up to them unless you get a Marsden hearing granted, which is a fairly high standard for you to meet based on incompetence.

  2. Joseph Salvatore Farina

    Contributor Level 17

    13

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Sorry but the low cost attorney is called the public defender's office. No attorney in their right mind is going to take a case to trial without a substantial retainer. What could possibly be the incentive to work for next to nothing unless the attorney isn't really busy and has nothing else to do? Or is brand new and needs trial experience. And as for payment plans, if you don't get your money up front, you will never see it.

    The information and legal suggestions made herein do not in any way create an attorney-client relationship. The... more
  3. Michael James Kennedy

    Pro

    Contributor Level 12

    11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You do not have your choice of counsel if you have accepted the public defender's assistance. Do not presume, however, that because your attorney is not chatty and hand-holding that he/she is not working diligently in your behalf. If you decide to bolt from those experienced attorneys and seek private counsel, beware that you often get what you pay for, so if you seek cheap, that's the quality work you likely will receive.

  4. Michael Kevin Cernyar

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with Mr. Jones. Many reputable attorneys offer a free consulation. I suggest meeting with many. They're free consultations so what do you have to lose.

    www.YourCriminalDefenseLawyer.com
    (800) 409-7010

    The response above is not intended as legal advice since it’s impracticable to provide thorough, accurate advice... more
  5. Mary Xinh Nguyen

    Contributor Level 8

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If you cannot afford a private attorney, your public defender is your attorney. You can't simply "get" another PD because you do not like how she/he is handling your case. Try to work with with your attorney.

  6. William A. Jones Jr.

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Your question, at least as worded in the beginning, seemed to be focused on how to go about changing your public defender to another public defender. Although I'm not licensed in your state and may therefore be off base, I believe your chances of getting a different PD are slim and none. You are certainly within your rights to substitute private counsel for the PD. This will apparently require you to "put your thinking-cap on". Closely consider all potential financial resources available to you directly or through friends and family. Interview local criminal defense attorneys to see what they see as your available options and to investigate legal fees required and whether any will entertain some form of an installment arrangement. Legal fees may vary considerably within a single legal community so shop around. Most here will provide you with a free consultation, so get to work. The solution you seek will not magically appear to you on the Internet. Start looking now while you await responses here from local lawyers. This website has a fine lawyer search function. Good luck.

  7. Simone L Spector

    Contributor Level 7

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . When I was a public defender I was always concerned that my clients might feel as though I wasn't advocating for them. It was hard to convey to them how much I was doing for them behind the scenes and how much my day to day experience counted towards helping them. Your public defender is likely a very good attorney, but one who is also very busy. I would suggest making numerous efforts to talk with and MEET WITH IN PERSON the attorney so they will make the time to know who you are and to determine just what it is that you want. You have to make a bit more of an effort to make yourself available to help them help you. You should also know how slow court proceedings can move. That things don't seem to be changing can be very frustrating, but unfortunately, it is the nature of the beast.
    If you repeatedly try to speak to your attorney and he/she does not respond, you might try to contact their supervisor.

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