What can I do if the attorney given to me seems not doing anything on my case? 17 Answers as of June 27, 2013

I was charged with grand larceny and burglary second offense. I was locked up for three weeks until I made bail. I was given a lawyer, who never returned my calls on an issue of me receiving a letter to attend preliminary hearing on the same date. I am to attend a general session court on September 10. Once in court, he slapped me with the state deal of six years or 15 years, if I didn’t take the deal. I was going up before the judge that day. I ask him about my hearing he said he had taken care of it without speaking with me. I don’t feel like my rights were made known by my lawyer and I was being charged by my past mistakes instead of what was before me. My lawyer didn’t work for me but for the state.

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Steven Alpers | Steven Alpers
You need to complain to the judge at your next court hearing.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/27/2012
Law Office of Richard Williams
Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
Unfortunately, that is sometime the difference between a court-appointed attorney and one you retain to represent you.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 9/27/2012
Lawrence Lewis
Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
You are talking in riddles. First, when you make bond you are not entitled to a preliminary hearing. Once you make bond your preliminary hearing is cancelled. Second, you will always be judged on your past record. A person with 5 prior DUIs is not treated the same as a person with his first DUI. Third, the attorney did not "slap" you. He communicated the offer to you which was conveyed by the prosecutor, which he is legally obligated to do. Fourth, you made bond. So, why did not not retain an attorney with the money you made at work while on bond? After all you are not new to the system, you have priors. You know exactly how this goes. Did you plead already? No, then get ready for trial. Stop bullshitting with how you feel about what was explained to you, and prepare for trial.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 6/27/2013
Law Offices of John Carney
Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
If you are charged with a crime you should retain a good criminal lawyer. If you have Legal Aid they may not return your phone calls, remind you of your court dates, or explain things properly or fully. They will show in court and give you the options of a trial or a plea. They will talk to the prosecutor and convey his offer. Even if you had retained lawyer you may have been offered the same plead deal if you have a prior felony and are now charged with another felony. The mandatory minimum may be 6 years, but it cannot be "6 years or 15 years". I am a New York State lawyer. If your case is in another state you should be asking a lawyer from that state, but he will not be able to answer your question properly since he would have to investigate the case to be able to advise you. Public defenders to do not always take the time to explain things properly, but you can always ask him to sit down and answer all of your questions and tell you why you should take the plea and why he did not run a felony hearing or ask to testify at a preliminary hearing or Grand Jury. It is likely that he knows you are guilty and have no choice but to plead to the charge, get the minimum, and avoid getting more time if you are convicted at trial, especially if you are being offered the minimum sentence that the law allows. Everybody thinks their lawyer is not "fighting" for them if they are offered a jail term over a few years, but it is usually because they are guilty, have confessed, have a bad record, and the sentence is going to be 5-10 years no matter who your lawyer is or which judge you have. Burglary is a very serious felony and if you are a predicate felon you should have known that another felony conviction was going to get you at least 5 years in prison.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 9/24/2012
Timothy J. Thill P.C.
Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
Hire a private attorney to represent you. Courts generally will not allow you to substitute public defenders.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 9/24/2012
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    Well either ask for another attorney or hire your own.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    Your first decision is to talk to him about his representation. If that is not satisfactory, take the matter to the judge who appointed him.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    If you are complaining about a Public Defender, they do not have time for hand holding or meetings or phone calls with clients. PDs have dozens of cases on calendar each day, and will talk to you for a few minutes in court. Private attorneys are paid to provide personal service. If not happy with your attorney, you can always hire private counsel, or ask the PD office to assign another PD. If the case is already over [not clear from your post], then you could discuss an appeal for ineffective assistance of counsel.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    You should have hired your own attorney, and should do so now to see if your situation can be improved.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    One option is to hire a privately retained lawyer to replace the public defender assigned to you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    Ask the judge for a new lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    If you are not happy with the attorney that the taxpayers are paying for you then you need to discharge him or her and hire your own lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/22/2012
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    You get what you pay for (or don't). PD's are notoriously swamped with cases.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/22/2012
    Mary W Craig P.C. | Mary W Craig
    You can write the judge, explain your problems with your lawyer, and ask the court to give you another lawyer and not do anything on your case until you have someone who will answer your phone calls and explain the process to you. Since you mention past mistakes, I take that to mean that you have a previous record, and those previous crimes can be used to enhance whatever sentence you might get on this crime.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 9/22/2012
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A | R. Jason de Groot
    Your only real option is to hire a private attorney to represent you.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/22/2012
    Douglas M. Philpott, P.C. | Peter J. Philpott
    Fire him and hire an new lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/22/2012
    Mace J. Yampolsky, LTD
    Mace J. Yampolsky, LTD | Mace Yampolsky
    Hire your own lawyer. You don't get to pick your appointed lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 9/22/2012
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