Can I / Should I Change My Criminal Defense Attorney While My Case Is Pending?
Can I Change My Criminal Defense Lawyers in New York? Criminal Defense Lawyers Explain If You Can or Should Change Attorneys.
A call to new lawyer about taking over a case from another lawyer often goes like this:
Caller: I am currently being represented by another lawyer. I’m not happy with how my lawyer is handling the case. I don’t feel like my lawyer is listening or helping me. I don’t think my attorney is handling my case properly. Can you take over my case? Can you help me?
New Attorney: We are happy to assist you. We will review all the evidence and analyze the strengths and weaknesses in your case. We will meet with you and discuss and explain all your options.
Caller: The District Attorney’s Office has offered me a plea deal. Do you think you can get me a better deal?
New Attorney: Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee a better deal for you. However, upon review of the evidence and an analysis of the legal issues in your case, we will make every effort to negotiate a better resolution for you or prepare your case for trial.
You can always change to a new attorney during your criminal case. Your right to an attorney extends beyond merely having a lawyer, but also to the lawyer of your choice if you are able to retain one. Every case is unique and has factors that differ from one case to another. Changing lawyers and having a new set of eyes on a case can be helpful.
Most importantly, you should have confidence in your lawyer and know that your lawyer is doing everything, he/she can to help you. Nothing is more important than feeling confident your case is being handled effectively; that it is being analyzed and prepared to be resolved or to be ready for trial. If a new lawyer takes on a pending case, the new lawyer must analyze the case from every angle: was there probable cause for the arrest? Was evidence improperly seized? Should evidence be suppressed? Should any statements you may have made be suppressed or precluded and not used against you?
It is important to know that a lawyer cannot guarantee results or promise a particular outcome. Lawyers who take over cases must give it maximum effort, attention and a new perspective. If you are considering changing lawyers, you should seek to retain your new lawyer as soon as practicable so that your new lawyer will be able to spend the time and effort to help you.