Do I have to be represented by the same council as my co-defendant? 6 Answers as of April 04, 2017

I'm the co-defendant (1 of 2 total defendants) of a criminal case and had a question regarding my rights. Are we tried as one and if DSO, do I have to except any deal they arrange? Do I have a right to defend myself separately?

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Law Office of Jeff Yeh
Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
No you don't. What you need to do is hire a lawyer to represent you. You get what you pay.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/4/2017
Universal Law Group, Inc. | Francis John Cowhig
You should have your own attorney working on your behalf. Being represented by the same attorney as your co-defendant could create a conflict of interest between you, your attorney and your co-defendant. You also do not have to take the same deal as your co-defendant, although sometimes the D.A. will offer a take it or leave it package deal. In such a case, you need to seek the advice of an attorney that is working on your behalf only. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/4/2017
Law Office of Edward J. Blum
Law Office of Edward J. Blum | Edward J. Blum
No. In fact, in most contexts you can't be represented by the same lawyer.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/4/2017
Chambers Law Firm
Chambers Law Firm | Dan E. Chambers
No, you do not. And should not.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/4/2017
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
On the contrary to all those questions. First, you have a right to a jury trial and make the prosecution prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt if they can. Second, you have a right to separate counsel and if you cannot afford one the court will appoint an attorney to represent you. Third, you do not have to accept any deal that you do not want even if the co-defendant does.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/4/2017
    Hammerschmidt Broughton Law
    Hammerschmidt Broughton Law | Mark A. Broughton
    Every person accused of a crime has the constitutional right to have their own attorney. This is especially true in multiple-defendant cases. You each should have your own attorney even though you will probably be tried together. As to a plea deal, prosecutors often make what are called "package" offers. This means that a settlement offer is made to each defendant (could be the same, could be different); each defendant has to accept and plead to his/her part of the deal. If one party rejects the offer the other cannot accept it - thus, the term "package." In some cases, offers are made independently and then any one defendant can accept his/her plea offer and the other can reject his/hers. As to defending yourself separately, the answer is yes (separate attorneys) but there are only limited circumstances in which you each would have separate trials on the same set of facts. The presumption is that you and your co-defendant would be tried together but you each have your own attorney and can raise your individual defenses in the same trial. If you do not already have your own criminal defense attorney, get one and if you cannot afford to hire your own attorney have the court appoint one to represent you. (I am surprised that this has not been done already unless you have not been to court yet.) Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/4/2017
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