If I was indicted for filing false tax returns and my court appointed attorney is a divorce attorney, can I request a new one?

UPDATED: Feb 6, 2012

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If I was indicted for filing false tax returns and my court appointed attorney is a divorce attorney, can I request a new one?

I have been charged with filing false tax returns. I was appointed an attorney by the court. The attorney isn’t a federal public defender but a divorce attorney who was picked because all of the federal public defenders are overloaded. I was indicted last week and my trial starts in 2 months. My attorney said we will meet for the first time on the 20th of this month, which is 18 days from the day I was indicted. Is it normal to wait that long to get/see the evidence against me and also should I be concerned that a divorce attorney is handling my case and not someone who has at least some type of federal experience?

Asked on February 6, 2012 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you have been indicted for a federal court matter for filing false federal tax returns and have been appointed a divorce attorney to represent you in this matter and are not happy with the situation, you are entitled to request new representation if you are not confident with your representation.

Given the fact that the criminal court system is impacted due to budgetary cuts and the economic recession, it is not unusual for your to be able to meet with your court appointed counsel to see your counsel and review the evidence against you 18 days post your indictment in federal court.

The reason you were not provided legal representation with federal court experience most likely results from federal court budget cuts.

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