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If you change attorneys, it is customary to allow the new attorney to conduct a pre-trial hearing. However, if you change attorneys more than a couple of times, the court is less likely to grant a new pre-trial.
What do you mean by the best attorney to "fight a defense of self-defense" defense? Do you mean that the alleged victim did not act in self defense? Can I get a few more facts? Do you have any previous convictions?
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First, if the person charged didn't commit the crime, then s/he shouldn't plead guilty. Remember, a jury must find the person guilty BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT. That is a VERY high standard.
If the other person also had a gun, the question becomes, "Why?" That person's credibility definitely becomes an issue. If the lawyer can raise "reasonable doubt" that the person who "felt the bullet whiz" past his face is not credible, or can catch him in a lie or lies, then the jury can partially or even totally ignore that witness' testimony as incredible. If the prosecutor's case rests with that witness, then it is very possible that the jury will find that reasonable doubt exists and finds the person "not guilty."
Also, if the prosecutor is offering a "sweet deal", then it makes you wonder how good the prosecutor's case really is.
As far as the "best" attorney to retain, it truly depends on who has a good reputation in the county in which the person is charged. Being the "best" in the State of Michigan means nothing. What is important is what reputation/relationship the attorney has with the judge who is hearing the case. The best way to find that type of information out is usually through the local defense bar association. The person wants to retain an attorney who regularly practices criminal cases in front of the judge and has a good relationship with him/her and his/her staff. Another way to gather that information is to sit in the courtroom for a few days and observe how the attorneys interact with the judge. There may be one or two attorneys who stand out. If so, the person can approach the attorneys for help.
Also, depending upon how far along in the system that the case is, a new attorney will have to be allowed time to become familiar with the file.
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