Skip to main content

At what point are my rights to adequate counsel being violated?

Fullerton, CA |

I have a felony case that I was arraigned for last month (Fullerton, CA). I was assigned a public defender whom I've been calling for the past 3 weeks. She never answers her phone, I always leave a message. Pretrial Is only a week away and I have not even touched base with my public defender. I get the feeling that I will not talk to her until I actually see her at pretrial. I don't feel like I stand a chance at court because I don't even get to talk to my attorney before court..

Where does the law stand in regard to adequate counsel?
What is the best solution (Besides hiring a private attorney)?

+ Read More

Attorney answers 5

Best Answer

An attorney not answering your phone call is not a 6th Amendment violation. It is quite possible that your attorney is working diligently on your matter and really doesn't wish to speak to you intentionally. Many times it's part of the strategy. There are cases in which the less we hear from the client, the more defenses we have. Good luck.
for Fairness & Your Freedom because sometimes good people find themselves in unpleasant situations
(800) 409-7010

The response above is not intended as legal advice since it’s impracticable to provide thorough, accurate advice based upon the query without additional details. It is highly recommended that one should seek advice from a criminal defense attorney licensed in your jurisdiction by setting up a confidential meeting. Moreover, this response does not constitute the creation of an attorney-client relationship since this message is not a confidential communication because it was posted on a public website, thereby publicly disclosing the information, which is another reason to setup a confidential meeting with an attorney.


Fullerton is a tough court and public defenders are overwhelmed with the number of cases that they are assigned. thus very little time could be utilized to give an individualized attention to the client. At this stage is not IAC. However, the best advice would be to retain a private attorney so you can have individualized attention and the attorney is actually able to spend time in your case and develop a defense.


Call the office and ask to speak to a supervisor. You should be able to meet with your attorney before your pre-trial. But if you can find the funds to hire a lawyer, you should. While public defenders are very talented, they are often overworked, and may not have time to spend on your case until they take care of all the cases that come before you.

The response I have provided is general in nature, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. My practice is based in Rhode Island, and the law and practice in other states or jurisdictions may be different.


Ineffective Assistance of Counsel involves more than the PD not getting back to you before a pretrial. You've got to realize that in the week until your pretrial, your PD has probably 30+ other pretrials to do first. If you want more individualized attention and to be able to speak to your attorney more often, I would suggest retaining private counsel. Call around and talk to several attorneys and see if someone is in your price range. You might be surprised to find that there are affordable private defense attorneys in Southern California.


Nicholas M. Loncar, Esq.
t: 323.803.4352 | f: 323.617.3838
Sunset Law Building | 1295 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA | 90027


The attorney that handled the last hearing may not be the one that's handling it from now on. If you know what department your case is being heard, ask for the attorney that handles those cases in that courtroom. Then know that private attorneys commonly give you their cell phone number.

Contributions on in no way create an attorney-client relationship nor are they intended to be relied upon as a course of action without having first consulted directly with an attorney, where the specific facts and circumstances of your case can be fully discussed.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer