Recently in custody a private attorney was apointed to defend someone in a criminal proceeding undisclosed are the facts that this attorney is 100% a family law attorney, i feel that the person in custody is going to be forced to take an unfair deal because of his past prison terms; (already served), Help me do the right thing for this person and the California tax payers.
In San Joaquin County, there are generally only two sources of appointed counsel. The first is the public defender. The second is from a panel of attorneys provided by the local bar's referral service. Those attorneys are screened and have to meet certain qualifications before they can accept cases appointed by the court or the service will send them a potential client. These attorneys are also required to obtain contining education in the criminal defense practice every year. [I know as I am a member of that panel and have been for 2 decades.] Since that screening process requires an applicant to provide case references to criminal mattersthat he or she has handled, I truly doubt the attorney is "100% a family law attorney".
Deals may or may not be "fair" depending on who is deciding fair. BTW, fair is not an issue. The issue is what is just. Fairness and justice are not legally equals. They are different philosophies.
One's past criminal involvement is always a factor in determining what the offer is.
If one has a court appointed attorney , there are only two ways to get a new attorney. The forst is to hire a new attorney. If money is available, that is the simplest and quickest method. It does not mean that any offer will be better. The second is to ask the court for a new attorney.
One is not guaranteed an attorney he likes. To have a new attorney appointed, one has to demonstrate that the current appointed attorney is not performing as a competent attorney. Gong to court and telling the judge you do nt like the attorney, you are not getting copies of the police reports and the attorney does not come to see you a lot, is not going to get you a new attorney.
The above is not intended as legal advice. The response does not constitute the creation of an attorney client relationship as this forum does not provide for a confidential communication.
First, even though the appointed attorney is a '100 % family law attorney,' it is most unlikely that a court would appoint an unqualified (not necessarily an inexperienced) attorney in a criminal matter. Second, no one is 'forced' to take a deal, whether a good one or a 'bad' one. The attorney is obligated, after a review of the facts and law, to make a best advice suggestion to the client about plea offers. The attorney does not accept the deal; that is the client's choice after balancing out the pros and cons. Third, without even considering the facts, which you wisely did not include here, the person's prison priors will both complicate the potential offer, but will also make any reasonable deal more on the 'good side' since priors, particularly if they are 'strikes,' will certainly increase potential time if the person is convicted at trial. Fourth, unless you are the client, this is really not your problem. Let the client work with the appointed attorney and, if it just does not seem to be working out between them, the client can approach the court to seek to have the attorney replaced.
Although I am an experienced CA criminal defense and appeals attorney, I can not 'guarantee' that my answer is entirely accurate, since I have not reviewed all of the factual circumstances of the case, nor have I discussed those circumstances fully with the questioner. The fact that I have answered this question does not establish an attorney client relationship between the questioner and my self or my office.
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on their profile in addition to the information we collect from state bar associations and other organizations that license legal professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do not.What determines Avvo Rating?Experience & background
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline