By: James Davis
No attorney-client relationship is stronger than the one between an individual charged with a crime and their criminal defense lawyer. That is because the stakes are so high. Your very freedom is often on the line when charged with a crime—that is on top of various financial penalties and other long-term ramifications. Considering the importance of the resolution of your case, it is critical for all defendants to have a solid relationship with their legal counsel. Openness and trust are crucial throughout the process, and a favorable resolution to your situation is less likely if the attorney-client relationship is not strong.
So what do you do if you are not satisfied with your current attorney?
There are many ways that an attorney may not be doing everything possible to advocate for your rights. If calls are not returned or emails ignored, then it is often a sign that your lawyer is not providing the best, individualized representation possible. You may not even be informed about the status of the case or the next steps. Many clients are left in the dark about their situation, which makes dealing with a criminal charge that much worse. In those cases it is often vital to cut ties and get better help.
It is important to remember that you can always fire your lawyer.
An attorney’s job is to represent the client, advocating for their interests every step of the way. If the client does not feel like their interests are being maximized by the attorney’s work, then the client can seek out new counsel.
However, as a practical matter, it is important to handle these issues in a way that does not jeopardize your defense. The further along a case, the higher the risk of problems when counsel is substituted. For example, if a case is on the eve of trial, it may be incredibly difficult for the new attorney to be able to marshal the strongest defense possible in time. As a result, it is always best to voice dissatisfaction with an attorney as early as possible and seek out a new criminal defense lawyer in a timely fashion. The earlier, the better.
What do I have to do to change lawyers?
To get a new lawyer you need only visit with another attorney and explain your situation. In most cases, all that is necessary is for your new lawyer to prepare a “Substitution of Attorney” form. The new attorney will collect the necessary information and file the form with the court.
Get a Second Opinion
Criminal Defense Attorney, James Davis understands that there is no excuse for not mounting the best defense possible in all cases. If you are not receiving the advocacy you need, it is entirely reasonable to seek out alternatives. If you want a second opinion on a criminal matter affecting you, take a moment to contact the Law Office of James Davis to see how we can help.