Who do you think the plaintiff is? If you wish to pursue a civil claim against someone for filing false charges against you, you need to contact a civil litigator to review the facts and circumstances and see if you have a meritorious case. I highly doubt that your defense attorney is an ADA working as a prosecutor and just because an attorney gets tapped on occasion to be a special prosecutor doesn't mean that s/he can't be an effective defense attorney. Any grievances you have with your attorney you should discuss with him first and see what he has to say.
If you believe that the attorney who represented you did something improper or failed to advice you, you may submit a complaint to the New York Attorney and Disciplinary Commission for further review, yet that entity does not have to power to direct the counsel to return the retainer or its portion. You must seek an advice in person from a civil counsel on its merits.
Also, I cannot comment on the bond return as I have not seen the terms and conditions of the actual bond slip that sets forth the exact conditions and usually, a portion of the bond does go to the bondsman as a service fee.
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I would be very surprised if your defense attorney was working for the DA's office at the time that he was defending you. That would be a conflict of interests.
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Well yes you can always sue your lawyer but can you win? You need to meet a high burden of proof beyond your gut feeling that something isn't right. If you want a refund, there is the fee dispute section of the bar so you can have the case presented to an arbitrator panel.
If one is working as a special ada or probono lawyer for the DA then they cannot do criminal defense. Every DA is different in each county but most play it safe and preclude defense work because of the obvious potential for conflicts of interest.
If the lawyer lied to you or failed to act in your interests by failing to file the right motion or lying about doing so, it may be grounds for a legal malpractice claim.
Grand Jury proceedings are the puppet show for th DA and defense attorneys generally can't cross examine witnesses like they can at trial. They can and should however preserve your right to testify in the grand jury by filng cross 190.50 notice. Did your lawyer at least do that?
Bail I believe is only nonrefundable if you fail to appear in court so the court keeps your bail money and puts out a bench warrant for your arrest. Your lawyer should be telling you this and when to appear in court and the consequences for failing to appear.
Hire a civil litigator to discuss grounds for possible suit. Good Luck!
Jeffrey J. Estrella, Esq.
Licensed Attorney and Counsellor At Law/Abogado y Licensiado
Licensed in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut
The Estrella Law Firm, P.C.
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If you were convicted of anything you likely don't have a civil lawsuit against the person who had you arrested. As for the lawyer, more information would be needed to see if he had a conflict of interest and wheter you received the effective assistance of counsel.
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) 577-9797 or via email at Eric@RothsteinLawNY.com. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.