If I have a court appointed lawyer can I fire them and ask for another court appointed lawyer?

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If I have a court appointed lawyer can I fire them and ask for another court appointed lawyer?

 

Asked on December 31, 2011 under Criminal Law, Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can fire your court appointed counsel and ask for a new one; this is known as "substitution of counsel). However having a one re-appointed it is not automatic. The fact is that you will need to request a hearing for this. In other words, you can get a different PD to represent you if you can convince a judge that this is necessary in order for you to put forth a competent defense. 

To seek a hearing you need to write a letter to the judge that is presiding over your case. In you need to request a meeting with them regarding your appointed counsel . State in your letter that you want your present attorney removed and why. List all problems that you are having with them.  Keep it short and to the point. And be sure that it is truthful; you do not want to jeopardize your position before the judge by exaggerating or making outright false claims. A copy of your letter should be sent to both the lawyer that you want removed from your case and the prosecutor and you need to keep one for yourself; all correspondence should be sent certified mail, return receipt requested.


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