Legal Question in Criminal Law in Mississippi

My son has been locked up for 3 months and has a lawyer who was a court appointed lawyer and i talked to him and he has said he was quilty without going to court with him he has been rude and unwilling to talk to me. What can i do he has told me he will ask the judge to be removed from the case, he says my son is crazy and he is tired of him and i can quote that to anyone i want to i am a mother who needs help. All my life i have helped people from the kindness and goodnees of my heart becuse God has blessed me, now i need some help. I would like to write a book on my life, but, that is another story who can i ask for help besides my father. I can ask him to send me some help.

Asked on 8/27/13, 7:09 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Wayne Woodall Wayne Woodall Attorney

Unfortunately, when the Court Appoints Counsel for an indigent defendant the Defendant does not usually get his choice of the Attorney to represent him. In fact, it is often the case that a Defendant is not truly "indigent" but in fact finds it inconvenient to pay for counsel so they prefer to obtain "free" representation from the State rather than to incur the personal expense of an Attorney. When the Attorney in the case evaluates the case based upon his legal and ethical expertise he is certainly free to conclude that there is no viable defense to the charge and/or that the Defendant is uncooperative or otherwise not willing to make a decision in the case that the Defense Counsel finds to be the best course of conduct for the Defendant. Without knowing the nature of the charge(s) pending against your son and/or the reasons the Defense Counsel has concluded that your son is "crazy" the only observation remaining is that perhaps the Defendant will be able to petition the Court for an alternate Court Appointed Counsel. If that Attorney concludes (similarly to the original Counsel) that the Defendant is not making rational choices in the approach to the case then perhaps a serious bit of introspection needs to occur by your Son. Not everyone who is arrested for an offense is "innocent" and frequently a Defendant refuses to accept the consequences of his action when he is "caught" and charged with a Felony because it is not "convenient" to serve time in prison. I would suggest first your son petition the Court for an alternate Court Appointed Attorney. In the event the Court GRANTS that Motion I would seriously consider the opinion of the new Counsel and compare that to the advice obtained from the initial Attonrey. If the two Attorneys provide similar assessment of the case then perhaps your son should reconsider his "reaction" to that advice. Alternatively, your son has the absolute right to pay for his defense. It is true, generally, that a person hiring competent and experienced defense counsel generally gets what he or she pays for. In other words, if he wants to select the "cheapest" attorney he may find that the services provided are much less (in scope and complexity) than those proposed by one who is willing to provide a complete and comprehensive attack on the case but at a much higher fee to the Defendant. If the Defendant can hire private counsel he should and should not "ride the backs of the community " (by making the taxpayer fund his attorney's services) when in fact he can actualy afford to secure a lawyer of his choice. I suspect you will find that the approach of both his private counsel and the Court Appointed Counsel are similar but the method of attaining goals is probably going to be more complex by the privately retained Attorney who is being compensated for his time and talent.

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Answered on 8/27/13, 10:19 am

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