Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
Good afternoon. When a California attorney incompetently fails to provide adequate representation in a criminal defense matter, the aggrieved client may exercise two options. First, the client can make a complaint to the California Bar Association--the situation will be examined by the Bar Association, who has the power to discipline and fine the attorney. Second, if the attorney's negligence materially altered the outcome of the criminal case, the client may also file a motion to vacate the judgment based on ineffective counsel. A motion to vacate can be handled by the attorney who failed to adequately represent the client, but (naturally) most people would feel more comfortable having such a motion handled by someone else.Let me know if further clarification is needed, and please feel free to leave a rating once you are completely finished (it does not cost anything extra to do so, and it is the only way I may be credited for my answers.) Thank you!