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For crack windshield and no insurance court-Public defender is trying intimidate and coerce me into a guilty plea.

Minneapolis, MN |

For some reason that I didn't completely understand, My public defender was very rude and upset me with constant put-downs and insults, telling me that I was a stupid f*** and went on and on about what an idiot I was, right to my face.... Nobody deserves to be cursed by someone who supposedly working for me. Public defenders are supposed to be helping the defendant not insulting. Sounds like he's trying to intimidate and coerce me into a guilty plea. I’m going to ask for a different one I’m going back to trial court on December. Seem public defender didn’t give a crap about my case and would not stop insulting...Is this common? This seems really wrong to me I just didn't like what I heard AT ALL from this public defender! ? Are these public defenders permitted to be really ruthless

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Attorney answers 5

Best Answer

There are two different issues here. Keep them separated.

One is the personal behavior of the public defender. Assuming that your description of what happened between you is both accurate and complete, the public defender should not be talking to you that way. There are better ways to give legal advice. That is issue number one.

Issue number two is wheher you should accept the plea. There is nothing improper or coercive about a lawyer telling you that you have a weak case, that you will be convicted if you go to trial, and that it would be to your advantage to accept a plea offer. There is no attorney who does not sometimes have to give that advice to a client. As a matter of law, however, the decision whether to plead guilty or to go to trial is yours alone to make. Your lawyer can only offer advice. You are the one who must decide. But please understand that a lawyer who gives you an honest evaluation of the case is acting properly and correctly, whether the advice is what you want to hear or not.


While his conduct is not professional, in all fairness we only have one side of the story. I am not excusing his behavior but we do not know what prompted these outbursts. That said, I would ask for a new public defender given the conflict that exists between you.

Good luck.

DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being provided for informational purposes only because the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.


I'm sorry to hear about your experience with the Public Defender on your case. For the most part, Public Defenders are very good attorneys, but there may be exceptions to the rule every once in a while. Just like private attorneys, most are very good, but some are not. You may want to discuss your case with a private criminal defense attorney to see if you can afford their representation. I know most of us offer a Free Consultation, and if need, would accept a payment plan.

Regardless of how you decide to handle your case, I wish you the best of luck,

Andrew Leone
Leone Legal, PA
PO Box 70
Chanhassen, MN 55317


I might suggest you try to start the relationship again next time you see your attorney. While I understand you are offended and no one deserves to be treated poorly, it is very unlikely that you will get assigned a new public defender and asking for a new one will just alienate you from your current attorney even more. I'm not saying it is fair, but I truly think you might just want to wait and see what happens next time - everyone has a bad day. Good luck.


You should seek experienced legal representation.

If you discharge the public defender you have, you essentially discharge the entire public defender's office. they will not sign a different public defender to your case in most situations

Disclaimer: Nothing in this email message creates an attorney client relationship absent a retainer agreement with this office. Any response to email inquiries should be considered general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. You should always consult a lawyer in your state regarding your specific legal matter. Visit online at

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