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Can my lawyer drop me without telling me why? Can an accident report and ticket be reversed 16 days later?

Tampa, FL |

I was hit at a red light on the back wheel well of my car and there was a 3rd party witness saying I had the green light. The other driver was cited for running a red light and was hostile to the officers threatening to sue everyone. I signed papers with a lawyer in FL. The other party found a low quality camera with little detail from a near by building that didn't prove anything and the officer reversed the findings 16 days after the accident and said they will mail me a ticket for running the red light! (even though it's not a traffic camera and it doesn't show my tag or the make or model of the car of even my view of the light or hers) Now my attorney said they will no longer represent me. Is any of this legal? My attorney said I need a criminal lawyer but wouldn't refer me.

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Attorney answers 3


You should read the papers that you signed from your ex attorney, if you have not already done so. Those papers likely include a attorney-client agreement which acts as a contract between the two of you. If that agreement specified that the attorney had the right to get off of your case whenever he wanted to, then he can, particularly if it was a contingency contract and you have not paid him any money at all. Is a lawsuit had already been filed and your attorney was representing you on fact, the judge would have to approve your attorney leaving the case. As far as the police officer's crash report and ticket, the officer certainly can amend the report anytime he feels the facts warrant it. Usually a traffic citation is difficult for the police officer to reverse once it's been entered into the court system, however the officer can always write additional citations to any party he feels deserve it and the officer can always explain to the Judge in court why he took the actions he did and request that the judge dismiss the first ticket. Hopefully, you have a name address and telephone number of the third-party witness to the accident. It seems as if, based upon the facts you've given here, that you would have a defensible case as far as running the red light if a third-party witness is available and is going to testify that you had the green light and if, as you say, the photograph is of such poor quality that the color of the light and identity of your vehicle is hard to establish. As far as finding an attorney to represent you in traffic court, should it be needed, there are many experienced criminal defense attorneys in the Tampa Bay area who would be happy to speak with you on the phone about this. Feel free to call my office and you may also locate other attorneys in the Tampa Bay area by searching the AVVO lawyer search function for criminal defense attorneys. Good luck.

Legal disclaimer: this response is not intended to create any attorney-client relationship and is based on the limited facts given and should not be relied on as legal advice. It is recommended that you consult with an attorney before taking any action based on the foregoing statements.



I was also wondering do they legally have to serve me the ticket in a certain time frame? Do I have to accept it or can they mail it to Al where my main residence is.



Also the other driver seem insane and extremely aggresive. I think she intimidated the officers into changing the report. The SGT Gray who call me seemed truly sorry and apologized profusely for the bad news and then asked if they could come by my house to give it to me. He even asked when I would be in town again. Does he need my signature for it to be valid?

Garry Lee Potts

Garry Lee Potts


You should get to a criminal defense attorney immediately. Let an attorney speak to the police and find out what is going on. It is also best not to agree to answer any more questions or make statements to the police. Consult with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible, there may be more going on here than just a traffic ticket, particularly in light of your former attorney's advice to seek a criminal attorney.


Florida Rule 4-1.16 Declining or Terminating Representation

(a) When Lawyer Must Decline or Terminate Representation. Except as stated in subdivision (c), a lawyer shall not represent a client or, where representation has commenced, shall withdraw from the representation of a client if:

(2) the lawyer's physical or mental condition materially impairs the lawyer's ability to represent the client;

(3) the lawyer is discharged;

(4) the client persists in a course of action involving the lawyer's services that the lawyer reasonably believes is criminal or fraudulent, unless the client agrees to disclose and rectify the crime or fraud; or

(5) the client has used the lawyer's services to perpetrate a crime or fraud, unless the client agrees to disclose and rectify the crime or fraud.

(b) When Withdrawal Is Allowed. Except as stated in subdivision (c), a lawyer may withdraw from representing a client if:

(1) withdrawal can be accomplished without material adverse effect on the interests of the client;

(2) the client insists upon taking action that the lawyer considers repugnant, imprudent, or with which the lawyer has a fundamental disagreement;

(3) the client fails substantially to fulfill an obligation to the lawyer regarding the lawyer's services and has been given reasonable warning that the lawyer will withdraw unless the obligation is fulfilled;

(4) the representation will result in an unreasonable financial burden on the lawyer or has been rendered unreasonably difficult by the client; or

(5) other good cause for withdrawal exists.

(c) Compliance With Order of Tribunal. A lawyer must comply with applicable law requiring notice or permission of a tribunal when terminating a representation. When ordered to do so by a tribunal, a lawyer shall continue representation notwithstanding good cause for terminating the representation.

(d) Protection of Client's Interest. Upon termination of representation, a lawyer shall take steps to the extent reasonably practicable to protect a client's interest, such as giving reasonable notice to the client, allowing time for employment of other counsel, surrendering papers and property to which the client is entitled, and refunding any advance payment of fee or expense that has not been earned. The lawyer may retain papers and other property relating to or belonging to the client to the extent permitted by law.


A lawyer should not accept representation in a matter unless it can be performed competently, promptly, without improper conflict of interest, and to completion. Ordinarily, a representation in a matter is completed when the agreed-upon assistance has been concluded. See rule 4-1.2, and the comment to rule 4-1.3.

Mandatory withdrawal

A lawyer ordinarily must decline or withdraw from representation if the client demands that the lawyer engage in conduct that is illegal or violates the Rules of Professional Conduct or law. The lawyer is not obliged to decline or withdraw simply because the client suggests such a course of conduct; a client may make such a suggestion in the hope that a lawyer will not be constrained by a professional obligation. Withdrawal is also mandatory if the client persists in a course of action that the lawyer reasonably believes is criminal or fraudulent, unless the client agrees to disclose and rectify the crime or fraud. Withdrawal is also required if the lawyer's services were misused in the past even if that would materially prejudice the client.

When a lawyer has been appointed to represent a client, withdrawal ordinarily requires approval of the appointing authority. See also rule 4-6.2. Similarly, court approval or notice to the court is often required by applicable law before a lawyer withdraws from pending litigation. Difficulty may be encountered if withdrawal is based on the client's dema

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No attorney must stay on your case, but we attorneys are duty-bound to never compromise your case.

Good luck.

In no way am I offering you legal advice, and in no way has my comment created an attorney-client relationship. You are not to rely upon my note above in any way, but insted need to sit down with counsel and share all relevant facts before receiving fully-informed legal advice. If you want to be completely sure of your rights, you must sit down with an experienced criminal defense attorney to be fully aware of your rights.