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Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Attorney for 22 years, criminal defense, from misdemeanors to murder, trials and appeals.
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my son has a lousy public defender. how do I file a motion

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my son has a lousy public defender. how do I file a motion for a marsden hearing
It's been my experience that no formal motion is required, but in any case, it's your son from whom the request must come. If he is dissatisfied with the services of his attorney, he can simply tell his lawyer that he wishes to have a new attorney appointed. I doubt your son will get an argument from the lawyer. Most lawyers will not be unhappy to give up a client who isn't happy with their representation. It works out better for both of them if lawyer and client have confidence in each other and get along.

The lawyer will bring the issue to the attention of the judge and say that he and his client are unable to maintain the sort of attorney/client relationship that would afford the defendant the representation he's entitled to and that he feels that his client would be better served if another attorney were appointed. It's been my experience that judges are generally agreeable, unless it's late n the case and the judge sees this as just an attempt on the part of the defendant to delay his trial.

Changing court appointed lawyers is not something that can be done, in general, more than once. If your son gets someone he likes less, he's apt to be stuck unless he can hire private counsel. Judges will remind defendants that they may have a right to a free attorney but not to a free attorney of their choice.

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This thread will not close and you can always use it to get clarification.This is informational only and is NOT legal advice.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
what is a marsden hearing and are you speaking to me from colorado law because each state has different laws. I asked specifically for a colorado lawyer
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I called the Arapahoe County Public Defenders Officer in Colorado and I can file a motion to change "Public Defenders" The polite way of course, would be to inform the Public Defender personally that we are unhappy with his services. As I said in the last response we were talking about "Colorado Laws" Criminal not Unemployment laws.

Poor people are entitled to GOOD representation. And more often than not things aren't always as they appear to be, as in the case with my son. I'll put pressure on the Public Defender to fight for his rights.

I notice that you have opted out. Actually, FranL's answer was correct. Normally, such a motion is not needed, as a simple conversation with the public defender will result in the attorney asking the court to appoint other counsel. However, if the attorney does not do that upon request, then a motion can be made by the defendant.

A Marsden motion is actually a construct of California law, not Colorado law, and not federal law. It is based upon People v. Marsden, 2 Cal.3d 118 (1970). However, under federal constitutional law, a defendant is entitled to the effective representation of counsel, and an attorney who does not have a conflict of interest in representing the defendant.

As such, if the attorney does not request that he be allowed to withdraw and another attorney be appointed to represent your son, then your son may request that this action be taken. The form of the motion does not have to be up to the standards expected of an attorney. It can be in legible handwriting. All he needs to do is put his case number XXXXX the paper, put a title on it such as motion for the appointment of other counsel, state that he does not believe his attorney is properly representing him, give the reasons why he feels this way, and ask the court to appoint other counsel.

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Gloria M

Please be aware that my answer is not legal advice, it is merely informational and educational. Fees I receive for answering questions are paid for information, not legal advice. This forum is designed to provide only general information, to give you a basis of knowledge. You and I have not entered into an attorney/client relationship, and I am not responsible for your legal rights. The only way for us to be in an attorney/client relationship is if you have signed a written retainer agreement with my law firm, and I am only licensed to practice law in Illinois. You should consult with legal counsel in your area for specific information relevant to your situation.

Cowgirl Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1422
Experience: Attorney for 22 years, criminal defense, from misdemeanors to murder, trials and appeals.
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