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If I get appointed a public defender can i hire a lawyer for my Kitsap county theft3 charge if my Pd is incompetent?

Bremerton, WA |

Im 20 withno prior history not even a traffic ticket and i have a theft 3 charge for shoplifting and my arraignment is in a couple daysbut my lawyer is out of town what are my options?

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Attorney answers 5


I think you'll find that public defenders are rarely incompetent. More often they just have way too many cases to give each case the individual attention it deserves.

It is usually not a problem to switch attorneys, especially fairly early on in the case. The only time I've seen judges deny a substitution of counsel is if they feel that you're using it as a delay tactic, to play games or at trial after all the witnesses are present.

On the other hand, if you can afford an attorney why are you using the public defender's office? That is a service for folks who cannot afford their own attorney. This is one of the reasons that the system is overburdened.

Scott. Lawrence
Law Office of Scott Lawrence

Sent from my Motorola Smartphone on the Now Network from Sprint!

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A PD is rarely incompetent. However, they often do not have the time available that you may want put into your case. Sit down with a private attorney and discuss your case. You may feel more comfortable with a private attorney.


Hire private counsel. Its that simple.

This answer is for general information only and is not intended as legal advice regarding your specific situation. In order to assess your legal matter properly and obtain legal advice, you must contact an attorney directly. Provision of this general information does not create an attorney-client relationship.


You need to have an attorney represent you. Hire a private attorney or go to arraignment court and ask the judge to appoint you a public defender, if your qualify.

I have been practicing criminal law for over 35 years, and most public defenders I know who practice felony defense are good lawyers. Just like in the private sector, there are great, good, average and poor lawyers. It is not fair to presume they are lessors because they are PDs.

I am trying to give you a general answer to your question. We do not have an attorney-client relationship by this response on the avvo website. I have not been retained to represent you. I am licensed to practice law in Kentucky and in federal court in this state and the Southern District of Indiana. You need to seek legal advice from an attorney licensed to practice in your area..


Of course you can. Talk to a lawyer in your area, the consult should be free.

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