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Defense Attorney Questions

Defense Attorney is a title for a lawyer who represents an accused person in legal matters. Either by court appointment or private pay, a defense attorney is in charge of ensuring the accused gets a fair trial. A defense attorney has many roles while defending their clients. Most defense attorneys will negotiate deals with the prosecution to lighten the legal load for the client. The defense attorney works to prove the client's innocence to the judge and/or jury. The defense attorney prepares their client for court and the public exposure that many trials bring. To learn more interesting facts about defense attorneys, take a look at the questions below that have been answered by Experts.

What are the obligations of a criminal defense attorney when the defendant wishes to testify and the defense attorney believes them to be guilty of the offense? I am located in Florida.

A part of the defense attorney's job is to advise their clients on what to do and how to do it; this includes whether or not they should testify. However, while the defense attorney should advise their client, they cannot refuse to allow the client to testify. All they can do is tell the client how they think the testimony will affect them and prepare them for testimony if the client is determined to testify. It is not ethical for an attorney to deny the client a chance to testify, regardless of how damaging the testimony may be.

A criminal defense attorney is not to judge a clients guilt or innocence. The defense attorney's job is to ensure the prosecution performs their job in a professional and ethical manner, to ensure the prosecution's case is proven beyond doubt and that any police actions are performed according to rule. If you would like to learn more on ethics and attorney obligations in Florida, you can follow this link:

Can the defense attorney release my personal information to my ex-husband? He in turn photocopied and gave it to people in town. I have contacted the state bar to complain.

The first thing you want to do is to go to the courthouse and view the court file. Look to see if the judge issued a protective order. The protective order is issued to protect certain information from being disclosed to others.

If there is a protective order on the court file, this means that the attorney has violated the judge's protective order. You will need to file a motion with the court to have the attorney show cause why he/she shouldn't be held in contempt of court for the violation. However, if there wasn't a protective order issued on the court file, the attorney hasn't violated a court order or any laws. While the attorney's actions are unprofessional, they have not broken any laws.

Should a criminal defense attorney be sanctioned for developing a sexual relationship with a current client? What if the attorney-client relationship is over?

A defense attorney has a duty to put forward their best effort for the client. It wouldn't appear to be in the best interest of the client for the attorney to enter into a sexual relationship with a client. Many times, a client may be under stress from the current situation and may not be thinking clearly; therefore the attorney should refrain from any sexual conduct while representing the client. Also, the attorney's judgment may become clouded if they are in a sexual relationship with their client. Many jurisdictions forbid attorney's to accept contingency fees in criminal law cases because the belief is that the attorney will have a personal stake in the outcome of the trial. This may cause the attorney to use unethical practices to gain a win. This theory could also pertain to a defense attorney having sexual relations with a client.

As far as a defense attorney having relations with a client after the attorney/client relationship has ended shouldn't be an issue. The risk of personal gain is no longer an issue or threat to a case. After the attorney/client relationship has ended, the two become consenting adults.

Can we change the defense attorney after pretrial and presentence interview?

It is legal to change defense attorneys at any point of a case. However, you may find it difficult to hire a new attorney once another has already begun on your case. Also, most judges will not allow you any extra time to prepare your case due to a new attorney.

People are arrested daily for various reasons. The first thing a person should do after being arrested is to retain a defense lawyer. If you have questions or have doubts regarding a defense attorney, you should ask an Expert for legal insight. An Expert can offer solutions and answers for your individual problem or situation.
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