Can we request that a court-appointed attorney be someone who specializes in a certain area of law?

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Can we request that a court-appointed attorney be someone who specializes in a certain area of law?

My brother to be charged with a crime and am wondering if we can request an attorney who specializes in sex crimes or must he settle for any randomly appointed attorney?

Asked on June 30, 2011 under Criminal Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

Stan Helinski / McKinley Law Group

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Hi, it's completely random in Mass. Unless you're trying to get a sex offender status changed, you're just appointed at arraignment, and it goes from there.  But realistically, unless there is a unique defense applicable to the crime or disposition (like some mental illness applicable to intent), the defense will be the same with any other type of assault and battery. Was the case indicted? 

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Presumably the attorney that is going to be appointed for your brother is considered qualified in criminl law, which is what the charges fall under.  An attorney has an obligation to familiarize him or her self with the statutes and law that gvern the charges that are charged to their client, even if they are unfamiliar with them at the time of the appointment.  It is unlikely that the attorney  appointed by the courts will have no familiarity with the charges and the law involved.  I am sure that the attorney will have come across clients in their practice with the same situation.  But if you r brother feels that his attorney is not representing him well then he can request that another be appointed. 


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