Can I get a different court appointed lawyer?

If charged with an offense and want to hire an attorney but can’t afford one you may qualify for a court appointed attorney.

In some situations, you may not be happy with the court appointed attorney. But, it is unlikely that the court will appoint someone else. Unless you want to hire your own attorney, you are pretty much stuck with whoever the court appoints.

What if the attorney isn’t telling me what I want to hear?

Take the 5th District of Texas Court of Appeals case Thornton v. Texas for example. The appellant in this case wanted his counsel dismissed “because there was a breakdown in communication” and because “this hadn’t been going right.” Appellant told the court that the attorney had only come to him “with what the state had to offer.”

The court gave the appellant several chances to explain why counsel should be dismissed but the only reason he gave was a “breakdown in communication.” The judge ruled that appellant wanted his attorney dismissed because he didn’t tell him what he wanted to hear and denied the dismissal.

 What standard does the court use?

The Court of Appeals 5th District cites several cases that explain the standard of court appointments; “defendant is not entitled to an appointed counsel of choice” Dunn v. State, 819 S.W.2d 510, 520, the “trial court has no duty to search for counsel aggregable to a defendant” noting that “personality conflicts and disagreements concerning trial strategy are not grounds for withdrawal.” King v. State, 29 S.W.3d at 566.

Should I pay for an attorney?

You get what you pay for is just as applicable in the legal world as much as retail. Court appointed attorneys are sometimes assigned several cases a day and are not able to vest as much time into a case as a hired attorney would be able to.

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