Monday, September 19, 2011
Minnesota Court Appointed Lawyers (Explained)
If you are charged with a crime in the State of Minnesota, you have a right to be represented by an attorney. If you can't afford one, the court can appoint one for you. These people are called public defenders. Often I'm asked: which is better a court-appointed attorney or a private lawyer? Well, in the end, that depends on you, your case, and what you'd like to see happen.
Court-appointed lawyers are assigned based on an individuals ability to pay. The less wealth you have, the better your chance of getting a "free" lawyer. That being said, at no time are you ever required to settle for a court-appointed lawyer. As is your right, you have the option of representing yourself or hiring an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney.
As a matter of fact, a number of my clients have originally had a court-appointed attorney, but later chose to leave that person and hire me.
Why? Well, I'm often told that my clients come to me because their court-appointed attorney is failing to give their case the attention and aggressiveness a proper legal defense requires. Believe it or not, I get their point. By no fault of the public defenders, they are often overburdened - working file after file to keep up with the demands of the system. In the end, because they have so many clients, they can't bring the same level of detail and attention to your case that a private attorney can.
What Should You Do?
Any time that you don’t believe that you are being well represented by your public defender, there are a number of fixes available. First, you always have the right to hire a private attorney to assist you. Often times clients begin a case without the financial ability to hire counsel and then have their situation change. Sometimes, it takes time to gather up the resources needed to retain the right lawyer. But, know this: you can replace attorneys at any time during your case.
At the Rolloff Law Office, I have clients who have hired me - after firing their court-appointed attorney. Given the choice between representing themselves (which is never recommended) and hiring an aggressive, tenacious, and experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney, the decision is usually very clear.
Call today to schedule a free initial consultation. I'll give your case the respect and dignity it deserve. Listen, I don’t "farm out" your case, or have 50-100 others on my desk at any one time. I work all of my own files. My attention and focus is on you.
If you need someone by your side to get your case back on track - call me today at (612) 234-1165 and let's get things rolling.