Process to fire a public defender

For the state of California, is it wise and legal for me to fire my public defender? He doesn’t communicate with me at all or tell me what is going on with my own case. He doesn’t come to see me, I only see him in court. He says he is ready for trial, but we have not discussed the matter at all. I have been in jail for 411 days and counting, and trial keeps getting postponed. No end in sight seems near.

Asked on May 19, 2009 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I don't know if it's legal for you to fire your public defender, and it might be very unwise because you might not get another one.  If you've been held for trial for over a year, you must be facing some serious charges.

Your best bet, for right now, might be to send your lawyer a very polite, but very detailed, letter that tells him about your "concerns."  Make a copy for your records!  If that doesn't work, you might want to write a letter, again polite and detailed, to the head of the public defender agency, or the court office that assigns public defenders.


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