Court-Appointed Attorney vs. Private Attorney part 2
Your lawyer is supposed to be your advocate. To advocate means to defend, support or argue for the cause of another person. Some have “heard about court-appointed lawyers” in a negative way. Others are frustrated or disappointed with a court-appointed attorney (public defender) assigned to their case and want to know how a private attorney can make a difference.
In general, our callers describe their court-appointed attorney as failing to communicate and failing to advocate.
Common Failures to Communicate“My court-appointed lawyer… – is hard to reach.” – is not available to answer my concerns.” – does not return my phone calls.” – does not meet with me.” – does not tell me what is happening in court.“ – hasn’t had a real conversation with me about my case.”
Common Failures to Advocate“My court-appointed lawyer… – is not defending me against the charges. “ – doesn’t talk to me between court appearances.” – doesn’t look into the facts that help my case.” – just wants me to plead guilty.” – is not very skilled in court.”
Change is possible for the defendant whose case is still pending in court. Take immediate steps to hire a proven and experienced criminal defense lawyer. Once a case has resulted in a conviction, most of the damage is usually permanent. A select few will qualify for record clearance after a waiting period of 3 years or more. Fewer will qualify to have their conviction(s) reduced to a lesser offense.