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I want to fire my attorney. I am charged with a misd. 2nd dui and am approching trial date.

San Francisco, CA |

He has shown up late to court and missed a deadline for filing aa appeal to a motion to suppress motion we lost. How do I fire him, and can I make him pay me my cash money back?

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Attorney answers 5


All you need to do is hire a new attorney. That attorney will take care of everything. Trying to get the money back may not be easy depending on what kind of agreement you had.
Robert Driessen

Mr. Driessen is a former Deputy DA in Orange County with over 8 years of criminal law experience. Nothing stated on this site shall in anyway be construed as legal advice, or as creating any attorney client relationship. If you would like to hire Mr. Driessen, feel free to contact him at


Getting a new attorney should not be a problem. Hire a new attorney and they will take care of the substitution. As far as making him pay you your cash money back... not going to happen.

Of course, every DUI case is different and you should consult an experienced DUI defense attorney in your area with questions regarding your specific case. It is always in your best interest to have a good DUI attorney represent you when you have been arrested for a DUI.


In case you are interested in the workings of the court system, attorneys ofter appear in several courts on hearings that are scheduled at the same time. That is understood and being "late" is normally a non issue. You hired that attorney to represnt you and you really don't need to be worried about being late. As for the motion to suppress that is a big deal and the lawyer must have felt that there was some remote possibility that it might work. Probably in less than 1 in 10 hearings would the motion be granted, but we still try. Rarely does a defendant go on to appeal that decision... not only do judges rarely grant the motion, especially on a second dui offense! but even more rarely would appellate judges say that the trial judge's decision was wrong. Perhaps you are a money no object client but your attorney may have done as much or more than any attorney would do. I'm not picking a fight... just though that if I took the time to write you it might help you figure out what is best for you to do next.


If the agreement between you and your attorney did not include trial, you can simply choose not to retain him for trial, and hire new counsel. Your new attorney will obtain your case file from your previous attorney, and take care of the transition. It will be difficult to get your money back; however, if you paid him an aggregious amount that you do not feel was justified, you can request a breakdown of the work done on your case.

George B. O'Neill

George B. O'Neill


Not much more That I can say... but I am sorry for your situation as you describe it. I haven't heard anything done for you so far worth $13K let alone even 1/3rd of that amount. You are always free to sue anyone for anything if you feel that you were wronged. I personally know many of California's finest DUI lawyers and what you have described would never have happened on their watch. Your next atty will be in a better position to advise you.


To fire him you should look at the contract you have with him, but in general you can fire him by letting him know that you no longer want him representing you. As far as getting your money back as the other lawyers have said this may be difficult and depends on your contract with him and how much work he has performed for you. If you do not have confidence in your present lawyer than regardless of fees you should hire another attorney as soon as possible but well before your trial date. Good luck.

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