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Can I Change Defense Lawyers After I’ve Already Hired One?


In a criminal defense case, it is essential to have an effective an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. Without skilled counsel, more than likely you will be convicted of the crime and will have a mark on your criminal record. Likewise, depending on the crime, you could be faced with a long prison sentence, extensive fines, or both. If you don’t think your attorney is representing your interests to the best of his or her ability, you do have a right to change lawyers if you hired your own attorney.

All people have the right to an attorney, whether or not they can afford to hire one on their own. For defendants who can afford a lawyer and choose to hire one, you are entirely free to discharge them without court approval. You do not need to show good cause or even justify the decision to the attorney. However, you do have to pay your former lawyer’s attorney fees in addition to the attorney fees of any new lawyer you hire. However, you might be prevented from changing lawyers if the prosecution wants to keep the case moving on schedule. For example, you will likely not be granted the opportunity to change lawyers the night before the trial.

However, if you were appointed an attorney by the court, you will have to give a good reason before the judge will allow you to choose another representative. At a hearing, you can present your grievances to the judge about why you have a conflict with your current attorney. The judge will attempt to resolve the disagreement without having to appoint a new lawyer; however, if you have a significant reason why you should be designated a new lawyer, the judge might rule in your favor. Reasons to ask for a new public defender include failing to communicate, failing to investigate your case, and failing to present a specific legal argument.

If you’re interested in hiring a skilled Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, call the Law Offices of Scott R. Spindel today. Attorney Spindel has more than 15 years of trial experience to offer your case. Let us see what we can do for you.

Contact us at (888) 973-0209 or fill out our online form to get started on your FREE initial case consultation.

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