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My lawyer excused herself from my case after pleading guilty?

Tazewell, VA |

Lawyer tells me outside the courtroom that if I plead guilty the prosecutor would work on a sentencing offer that they could give me in a weeks time after the date of pleading guilty. I come back a week later for the sentencing and the judge calls me up and asks me if me and my lawyer had a disagreement? I said no we had a misunderstanding. He said he is relieving my lawyer from my case due to misunderstandings. I have had this lawyer for a year now. Isnt there something I can due? Was this a legal move on the courts part to do this? Im so confused and feeling betrayed by my lawyer. Almost like she set me up to plead guilty and then abandoned me to the wolves???Help Please Asap!

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

I dont practice in that county, but I will say in Northern Va, it's rare that a judge will let an attorney out of a case. Over the years, every defense attorney comes to a disagreement with a client that warrants a request from the court to withdraw as counsel. Unless the situation is serious, the court will usually require the attorney to stay in. That being said, it seems odd that you wouldnt even have any idea as to why counsel would withdraw from your case.

Regardless, because counsel has withdrawn, your next move is to get new counsel and get it fast. The way you describe this case, it sounds like the charge is a felony so obviously it's serious. Once you obtain new counsel, tell them what is going on. You can always see if withdrawing your guilty plea may be an option. It's hard to do, but not unheard of. You may also come to the conclusion with the new attorney that your guilty plea was in your best interest and that new attorney will prepare you for sentencing.

Hope this helped.

This answer does not create a attorney/client relationship, but is intended solely in the court of discussion. It is always my recommendation to retain an attorney whenever a court appearance is necessary. This recommendation is highlighted when it relates to an individual's criminal record.


If you and your attorney had a misunderstanding and she filed a motion to withdraw, she likely felt it was necessary. The court has discretion to grant such requests, and the court in this case felt there was justification to do so. You can retain new counsel or seek the assistance of court-appointed counsel.

Please remember that if you find an answer particularly helpful, please mark it as helpful or "best answer" so that the attorneys who volunteer their time to answer these questions have feedback. This answer is only for informational purposes, is not legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Every case is different and must be judged on its own unique facts.


Think carefully what the misunderstanding may have been regarding but don't post it here publicly, for your own protection. Lawyers are required to zealously and diligently represent their clients, but in limited circumstances, an attorney may ask the court permission by motion to withdrawal counsel. Hopefully, the decision to plead guilty was your own decision, but if you think otherwise, you may want to talk to another attorney (sooner rather than later, if you think you want to appeal) or simply politely ask for an explanation if you truly do not know. See the link I have attached to understand more about this principle.

This is not legal advice: it is intended to be used for general informational or educational purposes only. For a free case evaluation, visit