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Hammer O'Justice
Hammer O'Justice, Criminal Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 4502
Experience:  Almost 12 years of legal experience, primarily in criminal law
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I was accused of a hit and run. I hired an attorney and paid

Customer Question

I was accused of a hit and run. I hired an attorney and paid him upfront. He did not make me aware of the court dates(3 different times). Everytime that I got noticed of a missed court date, I would call him many times with no call back. He then called me one day and stated that he settled it down to a traffic forfeiture. After a couple of days, I got a letter in the mail stating I was guilty due to no appearance. I called my attorney, and again he did not return my call. I filed a motion to vacate, and it was approved. The day before the hearing, my attorney called me and I asked him for a refund of some of the money because of his poor representation. He then tried to trap me by saying, "So what you're saying is if I give you some money, this all goes away." I said, "No, I feel you owe me some money because you did not do your job as originally stated." The next day, I went into his office and he threatened me by saying he secretly taped our conversation, and if I don't retract my statements in the motion to vacate at the hearing, he was going to get his attorneys and sue me. Before we went into court he said that we would accept the plea because we came to an agreement, and after that we would talk about a refund. Now fearful of what would happen(he would sue me and it would cost me more money) if I told the judge the truth, I accepted the plea at the hearing. Now I have a complaint against him with the Office of Lawyer Reg., and he is lying about everything. What can I do? It just seems he can lie his way through this. Now my car insurance has jumped way up because I didn't even get a chance to fight this case. Please help!
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Hammer O'Justice replied 8 years ago.
Hello.

You can file a Motion to Withdraw Guilty Plea with the court, alerting the court that you were threatened and coerced by defense counsel into taking the plea. If that is denied, you can file a post-conviction motion based on ineffective assistance of counsel, to try to get the plea vacated. If you can afford to hire another lawyer, you should seek their assistance to help you with these motions.

Also, just so you know, information that is recorded without the permission of the other party is inadmissible in Wisconsin in a civil lawsuit, so whatever he recorded would not be admissible if he tried to sue you.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I don't really want to spend anymore money fighting the case. I just want to hire an attorney(or take action without representation) and fight the attorney for a part of his fee. Is this possible or not worth my time?
Expert:  Hammer O'Justice replied 8 years ago.
Well you can file the motions with the court yourself to vacate the plea, if you are interested in getting it off of your record. You may not have the success that a lawyer would but you can try.

You may be able to sue him for professional malpractice. If you don't know of any attorneys who specialize in that, you can consult www.martindale.com to locate a list of attorneys who do professional liability/malpractice cases. Many do initial consultations for free and they can give you an idea of the likelihood of success in recouping your money versus the time, expense, and aggravation of suing him so you can decide if you want to proceed that way.