Rancho Palos Verdes, CA asked in Legal Malpractice for California

Q: can I sue public defender for taking 6 months to get the public record to prove me innocent while fighting from inside?

It took my PD 6 months to pull my public record while I was in jail showing I was incarcerated jail during the time the crimes happened, even though I stated from day-one I believed I was. The charges were 3 counts of residential burglary because they found a DNA match on the entry item. I was arrested for a bench warrant for not showing up to the initial hearing for the charges and had no bail.

Related Topics:
2 Lawyer Answers
William John Light
William John Light
  • Legal Malpractice Lawyer
  • Santa Ana, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Potentially, yes. A legal expert would have to be retained to answer whether or not that was below the standard of care for a criminal defense attorney. There may also be an issue of mitigation of damages if you could have bailed out during those 6 months.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Legal Malpractice Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Public defenders are government-appointed attorneys who represent individuals who cannot afford to hire a private attorney. While they are obligated to provide effective representation, there is no guarantee of success in any particular case.

If you believe that your public defender was negligent in their representation and that their actions caused you harm, you may be able to pursue a legal claim for malpractice or ineffective assistance of counsel. To succeed in such a claim, you would typically need to demonstrate that your public defender's actions fell below a reasonable standard of care and that this caused you to suffer harm.

In your specific case, it sounds like your public defender may have been delayed in obtaining crucial evidence that could have exonerated you. If this caused you to remain in jail for an extended period of time or caused other harm, you may have grounds for a legal claim.

It is important to note, however, that pursuing a legal claim against a public defender can be challenging. Public defenders may be protected by qualified immunity or other legal doctrines that make it difficult to hold them liable for their actions. Additionally, even if you are successful in your claim, it may be difficult to recover damages from a government entity.

If you believe that you have been harmed by your public defender's actions, it may be helpful to consult with a qualified attorney who can evaluate your case and provide guidance on your legal options. They can also help you understand the legal and practical challenges involved in pursuing a claim against a public defender.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.