I have heard that discovery provided to a defense attorney in a criminal case is extremly limited (exculpatory evidence only) unless you are in a county where they practice an open file policy. I've been told that Dallas County is one such county, but perhaps not Denton County.
Also, if a person doesn't trust their appointed attorney, do they have any options?
Can an attorney speak to a defendants family member about their case If the defendant gives permission for their attorney to speak to a designated family member?
Criminal Defense Attorney
If the DA does not offer an open file policy you'll have to file a discovery motion for the information they have. The DA has an obligation to produce exculpatory evidence but you do have the right to review their evidence. Dallas county at times will require a motion to be filed before they open their file.
As to your appointed attorney, if you aren't satisfied you can always hire your own attorney. It might seem expensive but it will be worth it in the long run.
And yes if you give your attorney permission to speak with a family member about your case, they can, BUT you run the risk of waiving your attorney-client privilege on certain communications, Which is a very important privilege to maintain.
At the end of the day, it's your freedom on the line and you need to be confident with your attorney.