Can you substitute an attorney in the middle of your case?

If you have a court-appointed attorney and you are not happy with him, you may choose to substitute a retained attorney of your choice. I often receive calls from people saying they have a court-appointed lawyer or public defender and need a lawyer to take over their case. These callers are referring to their constitutional right to an attorney of their choice,

Choosing a lawyer is a difficult task. Criminally accused persons must often make a decision on representation without personally seeing the lawyer in action. The accused can make an informed choice based upon reputation or a direct referral from a person that has previously used a lawyer's services.

A criminally charged person can change to a lawyer of his choice at almost any point in the prosecution of his case. However, a lawyer that comes into a case late may be at a disadvantage. Also if a court believes that a change in lawyers is designed to delay the legal process the court may not allow substitution of counsel. Thus, a criminal defendant should not allow any delay in choosing an attorney.

Upon being retained, a lawyer will handle the duty of switching the court's notation of whom is listed as counsel of record. If you are represented by a court-appointed lawyer in Virginia Beach and you would like a different approach to your case, you may consult with a "private" attorney. Criminal trials are often the most important occurrences in a person's life. All criminally accused persons should be sure that their legal defense is being handled by an attorney that listens to the needs of his client and has the skill set to pursue his client's desired objectives.

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