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Is it possible to have a second pre-trial? Or would I be forced to go to a jury trial?

Van Nuys, CA |

I have been appointed an attorney for my pre-trial. She does not look too exciting about getting the best possible deal for my case, but I am going to stick with her for right now. If during the pre-trial she does not aggressively bargain for a lesser charge, but instead advises me to plead guilty for a lower sentence, can I finish my relationship with the attorney, request a second pre-trial and use that time to hire a private attorney? What is the chance of the judge denying my request. Or would I be better off to go to a jury trial with my attorney?

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Attorney answers 5


It differs from state to state, court to court, and judge to judge, but generally speaking you get one pretrial to work out a plea, and depending on your state/court/judge you may not be able to enter anything after that but an open plea or face the jury. If you at all can come up with the money, I strongly suggest to hire private attorney now if you are already conserned about your PD. Best of Luck

Attorney Stacy E. Pepper is licensed in all State and Federal Courts in Mississippi. He is a founding Partner in the law firm of Pepper & Odom, P.C. Nothing posted here constitutes any attorney client relationship and is meant for educational purposes only. Office hours are 8:00 a.m till 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Phone: 601-914-9219 Facsimile: 888-456-2160


I agree that getting a private attorney would be the best solution. Certainly then you could ask for an additional pretrial negotiation. If you can't afford a private attorney, you could then bring what's called a "Marsden motion".

That motion would allow you to have a different public defender than the one that is representing you now.

I wish you the best of luck,


What does not look too exciting about best possible deal mean?
What does aggressively bargain for a lesser care mean?
What is difference between a lesser charge and a lower sentence if in the end it does the same thing?

I think you expect your PD to work miracles and that somehow a different attorney after you have tired once will do something better. You are not considering the fact that if the DA has a strong case with strong evidence, the DA may be unwilling to deal. They may want to use you as an example. If the lesser charge is not even on the table...
You can always go to jury trial but if they ave a good case you can be convicted as charged..

Don't expect miracles...

This is for general information only. Nothing in this information should be construed as creating an attorney-client relationship nor shall any of this information be construed as providing legal advice. Laws change over time and differ from state to state. These answers are based on California Law.Applicability of the legal principles discussed may differ substantially in individual situations. You should not act upon the information presented herein without consulting an attorney about your particular situation. No attorney-client relationship is established.


If you are unhappy with the way the PD is handling the pre-trial and negotiations, I cannot see how you will be any more satisfied with her representing you during a jury trial. Consult with a criminal attorney in your area about your options to either retain private counsel, or file a Marsden motion. I wish we had a similar motion here in Virginia.

Responding to questions on AVVO does not establish an attorney-client relationship between the questioner and any attorney associated with Garrett Law Group, PLC. Responses should be considered and used for informational purposes only. Every case is unique in its facts, and all legal matters should be discussed with a licensed attorney prior to making any decisions or taking any actions.


If you aren't happy with your attorney, you can get retained counsel at almost any time. You only get one chance to get this right. There aren't many "do-overs" in criminal court. You can whatever you can pre-trial, but once you have a trial, or plead, that's usually it. If you are unhappy with your attorney, get a new one-- a private one. You don't get your choice of attorney if you elect to use the PD

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