Can I fire my court appointed attorney before my jury trial on a misdemeaner case?

UPDATED: Feb 10, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Feb 10, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can I fire my court appointed attorney before my jury trial on a misdemeaner case?

Asked on February 10, 2011 under Criminal Law, Texas


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can.  A court appointed attorney is not a requirement.  Although, since you are facing a criminal charge you should have legal representation. especially since you are facing trial.  If you want to now hire a private counsel you can do so.  If you want another PD appointed to your case you may be able to do that as well; getting one is not automatic however. 

In order to get a new court-appointed lawyer, you will need to request a hearing for substitution of counsel.  That means that you can get a different public defender to represent you so long as you can convince a judge that this is necessary in order for you to put forth a competent defense.  To seek such a hearing, you should write a letter to the judge that is presiding over your case, requesting a meeting with them and why.  A copy of your letter should be sent to both the lawyer that you want removed and the prosecutor.  Make sure both copies and the original (which goes to the judge) are sent certified mail, return receipt requested; you also need to keep a copy for yourself.  Be sure to need list all problems that you are having with your attorney.  Keep the letter short and to the point.  And be sure that it is truthful; you do not want to jeopardize your position before the judge by stretching the truth or making false claims.

Additionally, you can contact legal aid and see if they would take you case.  If not, check to see if there is a law school nearby to where you live; they typically run free/low cost clinics that handle these type cases.  Also, contact the local Bar Association in your county; they may have a list of attorneys who will take your case "pro bono" (for free) or at least for a reduced fee based on your income/circumstances. 

Note:  timing is crucial.  Whatever you do, do it immediately.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption