Switching Your Lawyer During A Criminal Case

People often wonder if they can hire a private criminal defense lawyer after the case has already been assigned to the public defender’s office? The answer to that question is “yes.” You can hire a private lawyer after your case has already been assigned to the public defender’s office.

Lawyers deal with such situations often as many clients are given the option to have the public defender’s office at their initial appearance before a judge. This often happens before the client has had adequate time to truly decide on what lawyer they want to represent them, much less figure out if they can even afford a lawyer. Some people will apply temporarily for a public defender just to have someone on their case until they can get out of jail, get themselves together financially, and hire a lawyer.

How to Switch Lawyers

If you visit a law firm and decide that you would like a private criminal defense lawyer to take your case rather than the public defender’s office, we make the process very simple. The lawyer will prepare a motion, which is called a substitution of counsel, which will be directed to the judge assigned to your case. The judge will sign the motion and ask for you to sign it as well. The “runner” will then take that motion and get the public defender’s office to sign off on it.

The public defender’s office then forwards the motion along with the order that was prepared in your case to the judge assigned to your case. The judge will then look at the order and see that it previously filed pleadings on your case, meaning he or she will notice that we’re going to be representing you, before he or she signs the order. Once all of this takes place, you would have officially switched from having a public defender to a private criminal defense lawyer.

Why You Would Want to Switch Lawyers

There are many different reasons why you may want to switch legal representation in the middle of a criminal case. Some of the most common reasons include:

  • You’re worried about their performance
  • You’re unsure of their litigation abilities
  • You aren’t getting along with your attorney
  • There’s poor communication between you and the attorney

If your current legal representation doesn’t seem to be a good fit for your case, don’t hesitate to give us a call. The Umansky Law Firm houses experienced criminal defense lawyers whose skills are tailored to handle your case in particular. Contact us today at 407-228-3838 for a free case evaluation.

Recent Criminal
Case Results

Burglary of Dwelling; Petit Theft

Withhold with 6 months probation and impulse control; adjudication withheld

Grand Theft ($300-$5000)

Nolle Prosequi-Case Dropped

CT-Driving Under the Influence Car (M1)

Nolle Prosequi - Case Dropped

CT- Driving under the influence car

Nolle Prosequi - Case Dropped

Grand Theft Third Degree

Adjudicated Guilty; One day jail/one day time serve; Restitution fees; Court Cost

Petit Theft < 300

We negotiated an agreement that entailed the State dropping the charge after our client completed a Pre-Trial Diversion Program. The Charge was dropped via a Nolle Prosequi.

Unlawful Speeding

Withhold of Adjudication; No points on license; Paid fine and clerk cost; 8 hour aggressive driver class; 90 days to satisfy fine and class

Shoot/Throw Missile Into Dwell/Struct/Veh; Child Abuse; Criminal Mischief; Battery (Domestic Violence)

No Information Notice - Charges Dropped

Attach Tag/Lic Plate To Unassigned Vehicle (M2)

Nolle Prosequi - Case Dropped

DUI with Minor In Car or BAL of .20 or Higher

Pled No Contest, 1 Year Probation, 10 day Car Impound, Community Service

Motion to Modify Probation

Motion Granted in 48 hours

Petit Theft

Adjudication Withheld, 4 Months probation, Costs/Fines, Impulse Control Class

Petit Theft of $100 or MORE (M1)

Nolle Prosequi

Refuse To Submit To DUI Test (M1)

Case Dropped

Battery on Law Enforcement Officer (F3); Disorderly Conduct (M2)

Nolle Prosequi - Case Dropped


Charges Dropped

Scheme to Defraud(F3); Grand Theft(F3)

Motion to Terminate Probation Granted

Unlawful Speed


Failed to Yield at Intersection

Not Guilty

Leave Scene Of A Crash W/Property Damage (M2)

Case Dropped

Motion to Modify and Impose a Withhold of Adjudication


Attempted Burglary of a Conveyance

Charges dropped

Possession of Cannabis (less than 20 grams)

Charges dropped


Reduced to reckless driving

Possession of Alcohol Under the Age of 21

Charges dropped

Driving Under the Influence

Reduced to Reckless Driving

Violation of Probation

Case Dismissed

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