If I am dissatisfied with my PD, can I ask for new representation? 3 Answers as of January 17, 2011

My ex husband stole my purse and dumped $400 in property and money down a storm drain. While trying to get my purse back to prevent this, I punched him in the face. Now I am charged with assault 4 DV. I am a criminal justice major and really do not want this screwing it up for me. I need case law info on defense of property as a defense and how to present it at trial. I also am worried my PD is not doing his job. If this becomes apparent during trial, can I fire him and ask for new representation? And if so how do I go about it?

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Andersen Law PLLC
Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
You are right to be concerned. A DV assault conviction can bar you from owning firearms. You may have a valid defense but that's a complex question beyond the scope of a criminal justice program. Was force necessary? Did you use only such force as was reasonable? Your PD has to do as you dictate. If you want a trial, tell him or her to set your case for trial. You might get a new PD if you have a conflict with your attorney. You might get another PD but don't expect much from him or her either. If you want aggressive defense, you will have to hire a private attorney.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 1/17/2011
Law Office of Aaron Nielson
Law Office of Aaron Nielson | Aaron Nielson
You can ask for a new public defender but the judge doesn't have to give you one. Depending on the size of the court you are in their could be multiple public defenders in the office and you can ask to have the supervisor address your concerns. Give your attorney a chance and talk with them first about your concerns. They might be a great attorney that is just very busy. Communication is the key in most successful cases.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 1/14/2011
Law Office of Michael Brodsky
Law Office of Michael Brodsky | Michael Brodsky
The Constitution says you are entitled to a competent legal representation if you are charged with a crime. That said, it is difficult to change public defenders absent a showing of a conflict of interest or an irreparable breakdown in communication between attorney and client. Most judges will say you are entitled to an attorney, not an attorney of your choice unless you choose to hire one.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 1/14/2011
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