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Do I have the Right to Change my San Diego California Defense Attorney?

Attorneys are held to a high standard of ethics by the California State Bar. There are many rules in effect that are designed to protect a person and their legal rights. There are also guidelines an attorney must follow so that they provide the most diligent, competent and effective legal help available.

Accordingly, the client has many rights when it comes to choosing and retaining an attorney. You have the right to not be hassled when choosing an attorney, and attorneys may not actively solicit your business in a courtroom, hospital, or even the scene of an arrest.

Similarly, if you have retained an attorney, you have the right to terminate the attorney client relationship whenever you feel it is necessary. An attorney, however, cannot terminate you as a client without good reason and permission from the Judge.

Let’s consider an example. A client hires an attorney to help them with their San Diego DUI Case. The attorney misses a hearing due to disorganization and a warrant is put out for the client’s arrest. Furthermore, the attorney, when he does appear put in a guilty plea on behalf of the client without the client’s consent. Due to the incompetence, the client informs the Judge that they no longer wish that the attorney represents them and will seek new counsel. The client has every right to do so, and will be given permission by the Court to do so.

Let’s now consider the attorney’s perspective. The attorney represents a client for a Southern California theft case. The attorney represents the client through arraignment, and through pre-trial. While the case approaches trial, and is two days away, the attorney decides to go on vacation and feels that they can no longer take on the case. The attorney appears before the Judge and asks to withdraw from the case. The Judge asks the attorney his reason for wanting to do and decides that if the attorney withdraws, there will be prejudice to the client’s case because it is so close to trial and the Judge denies the attorney’s requests.

If you are being represented by an attorney that is not doing work on your case to your satisfaction, you should know that you have every right to switch attorneys. You pay good money for outstanding legal representation, you should have the peace of mind that your case is being handled to the best of your attorney’s ability. Your rights are important, and your future will rely on the outcome of your criminal case, whether you are convicted of a felony, misdemeanor or the case is eventually dismissed. Keep in mind that there are standards that your San Diego Criminal Defense attorney must adhere to, standards designed to protect your rights.