There may be times where you decide that you don’t have the confidence in your lawyer that you thought you did, and you may want to have someone else represent you instead. You may wonder if you can hire someone else in the middle of your case. The short answer is yes, but there are some disadvantages to doing so.
You Have the Right to Change Counsel in Most Cases
If you have lost confidence or faith in your lawyer’s ability to represent you, you are entitled to change counsel. Before you do, however, it may be a good idea to talk with your current lawyer to explain why you are unhappy or uncomfortable. When given the chance, most lawyers are willing and able to fix the problem. If you are unable to resolve your issues with your lawyer, however, you do have the right to fire them and replace them.
There are some things to keep in mind, however. First of all, there is the issue of billing. The lawyer that you decide to fire is still entitled to compensation for the work that they have done. If you are current on your payments, this will likely not be an issue. If not, however, you will need to finalize your payments to that lawyer based on the agreement you have. If your lawyer was working on a percentage fee basis, you could be required to pay an hourly rate for his or her time, plus any expenses or costs up until the final date that they worked on your case.
Sometimes there are extra costs associated with hiring a new lawyer. For example, your new lawyer will need to get up to speed on your case quickly if they are hired in the middle. This can cost you extra since they will have to prioritize your case.
There are also some cases where you may not be able to hire a new lawyer, depending on where you are in your case. Judges may keep a lawyer on the case if it’s too far along. Judges can determine when it’s not suitable for a new lawyer to take over. So while you do have the right to hire new counsel if you want to, it should only be as a last resort.
If you have any questions about how to hire or fire a lawyer, it’s a good idea to get in touch with a criminal defense attorney in San Mateo, CA.
Thanks to The Morales Law Firm for their insight into criminal law and finding a new lawyer during your case.