Depends on what you mean by waiver of rights. Can a lawyer force you to trial when you don't want to, usually not. On the other hand, a court can force you and your attorney to trial over both of your objections. Can the attorney "agree" to go to trial absent your presence? He should not, and probably did not, voluntarily agree to that, but the court can order the trial in absentia in certain circumstances as where there's proof the defendant had notice of the trial date and then failed or refused to appear.
The only person that can force someone to trial is the judge. Having a trial is one of the basic rights that all citizens have. Citizens don't have a right to not go to trial although they can waive their right to a trial and enter a plea with the court's permission. If you're concerned about the attorney's decision you should go speak with them.
My answers are only intended as general legal advice based on my eighteen years as an Austin criminal defense and DUI attorney. They are not intended to be a binding legal opinion nor to create an attorney - client relationship. For those questions asked outside of Texas, there is no intent on my part to practice law in any other state There is no substitute for contacting a local attorney. Feel free to visit my website, www.austincriminaldenseattorney.com .
The simple answer is NO. That said, sometimes clients don't fully understand the limited options they have once they have been charged with a crime. Generally, there are two choices: a) accept a plea bargain or make your best deal with the judge; or b) go to trial. Sometimes clients say they don't want to go to trial but they also don't want to accept the DA or Judges offer. There is no third option if the court has found the evidence legally sufficient to go to trial. So NO, a lawyer can't force his client to go to trial --- the client is free to plead guilty at anytime.
I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 385-8015 or via email at Eric@RothsteinLawNY.com. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.
On any of your constitutional rights you and you alone may waive them. You will be asked to state your acknowledgement and understanding of your constituional rights before you are asked to knowingly waive them.
Consider that the judge may simply require that the matter go to trial over both your and your attorney's objection. In the end, the judge has to allow some resolution of the matter short of a trial. If the judge did not like or approve of the plea offer made, the judge may force the matter to trial without your lawyer or you agreeing.
Your question is always pertinent. While the defense lawyer reserves the right to make strategic decisions concerning how to present your defense, the ultimate call--take a plea offer knowing all the ramifications of same (inlcuding possible immigration related issues--belongs to the client.
This is exactly as it should be, because it's not the lawyer whose freedom is at stake or who faces financial penalties or the loss of a privilege such as a professional or driver's license, it is you the client.
I believe in fighting aggressively but always fairly. Some cases come along where, for various reasons the DA's office won't budge, won't be reasonable, and sometimes they are not personal to the client or his situation but are just DA office policy practices.
But every client deserves to be told straight REAL TALK about his or her situation.
This is not Let's Make A Deal, not some quiz show.