Philadelphia, PA asked in Criminal Law, Civil Litigation, Civil Rights and Legal Malpractice for Texas

Q: Is it a violation of my amendment rights if I have a public defender and spoke on the phone once. Before trial I have a

A new attorney and we're going to trial in 2 weeks or less or maybe 3 weeks but they're not prepared for my case and I haven't ever spoke to him before and the only information they have is what the prosecutor gave them instead of investigating my caseit been over 2 years

2 Lawyer Answers
Penny Wymyczak-White
PREMIUM
Penny Wymyczak-White
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Houston, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: You can email your attorney the information you think he needs or you can retain a lawyer .

Kiele Linroth Pace agrees with this answer

Kiele Linroth Pace
Kiele Linroth Pace
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Austin, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: Although you have the right to an attorney, you don't have the right to a GOOD attorney. You have to pay for that and it's really expensive.

That said, if your attorney does nothing (or almost nothing) to prepare then that can be "ineffective assistance of counsel" and doing an independent investigation is actually part of what an attorney is supposed to do. However, that doesn't mean the attorney must investigate the case in the manner you'd prefer... The bar is actually quite low (especially for court-appointed) and something as simple as reviewing the evidence provided by the prosecutor with an open mind is probably enough (as opposed to not looking at it and just taking the state's evaluation of the evidence as if it were accurate.) Actually, even totally ignoring the evidence could be enough to meet the threshold if the attorney's strategy is to make a jurisdictional argument against conviction... because the alleged facts wouldn't be particularly important in that situation.

Bottom line is that your best bet is to get the most out of your attorney by providing all the details and really attempting to communicate in a manner that is self-documenting... like email.

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