if my public defender seems to be inadequate what do i do to get proper legal representation?

UPDATED: Jul 7, 2009

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if my public defender seems to be inadequate what do i do to get proper legal representation?

on my first court date that the public defender was supposed to represent me he did not even know that he was represanting me. my second court date is tomorrow he finally contacted me today after i attempted to call him previously with no response.

Asked on July 7, 2009 under Criminal Law, Colorado


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

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

If you are unhappy with your public defender states allow for a hearing on just this very matter. This is done in cases where the court appointed attorney is deemed not to have provided the defendant with competent or adequate counsel in some way.  However, there needs to sufficient grounds for scheduling such a hearing.  Based on the facts that you have presented I am not at all certain that your situation would qualify. Typically it is a pattern of behavior that is in question and to my mind you simply haven't demonstrated that here.  Why don't you see what happens tomorrow; you may find that you like this attorney and have confidence in him.

However, if you are still dissatisfied with him you can seek a hearing for substitution of counsel.  To do this,  you should write a letter to the judge, requesting a meeting with him regarding your attorney.  A copy of this 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; the you will also needs to keep a copy for himself.  This letter should state that you want your present attorney removed from your case and why.  You needs to list all problems that you are having with him.  The letter should be kept short and to the point.  Be sure that it is truthful, you do not want to jeopardize your credibility with the judge by stretching the facts.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

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