Michigan Sex Crime Attorneys
Criminal sexual conduct (CSC) convictions can have a terrible aftermath, including a penalty up to life in prison depending on the charges. This is why it is essential to hire tenacious attorneys who have extensive experience handling these types of cases. We have decades of trial experience. When your freedom and reputation are on the line, you can rest assured we will aggressively fight on your behalf.
For those who cannot afford the attorney of their choice, the court will appoint an attorney in sex crime cases. The following are commonly-asked questions pertaining to court-appointed counsel.
How much does a court-appointed attorney cost?
The upside is that criminal defendants do not have to pay court-appointed attorneys at the outset of the case. In the beginning, the government covers the legal fees. However, courts often order that the defendants reimburse the court for any fees previously paid to court-appointed lawyers.
How do I get a court-appointed attorney?
Every sex crime defendant is entitled to legal counsel. Once criminal charges are filed against a defendant, then the court determines if the defendant can afford to hire a lawyer. If the court determines the individual cannot afford legal representation, then a court-appointed attorney is assigned. The court-appointed lawyer then appears on the defendant’s behalf at all hearings. If the defendant is found guilty at trial, then the defendant has a right to a court-appointed attorney to appeal the verdict.
Do I have to keep my court-appointed attorney?
There is no requirement that a defendant must accept a court-appointed attorney. In fact, a defendant could choose to represent himself or herself. However, we strongly discourage self-representation because it is likely to be highly detrimental to the outcome of the case. Many individuals decide to turn down their court-appointed attorneys and hire us instead. Additionally, many individuals aren’t happy with how their court-appointed attorneys are handling their cases, so they change counsel and hire us. For example, many court-appointed attorneys are overburdened with a high caseload which reduces their ability to fight aggressively on every case. We, on the other hand, zealously defend our clients every step of the way.
When should I replace my current attorney?
The simple answer is that it should be done as soon as possible. Time is of the essence in building a good defense. We have stepped into cases days before trial, but this is not the ideal.
What happens if my court-appointed attorney doesn’t want to work with me anymore?
While it is commonplace that a defendant may want to change from a court-appointed attorney to paid private counsel, it is not as common for a court-appointed attorney to attempt to withdraw from representing a client. The court-appointed attorney would need permission from the court to withdraw. The court might grant the request if there was an extreme breakdown of the attorney-client relationship. However, the court does not take this decision lightly and will not grant permission if it will unfairly prejudice a defendant’s case. For example, it is not likely a court would grant a withdrawal on the eve of trial.
What if I think my court-appointed attorney did a poor job representing me?
In cases where a defendant feels the court-appointed attorney did not provide adequate representation, he or she can raise an ineffective assistance of counsel claim. However, this is a very tough claim to win.
To reverse a valid conviction, the defendant must show the court-appointed attorney’s performance did not meet an objective standard of reasonableness, and that the representation so prejudiced the defendant that he or she was denied a fair trial. Additionally, the defendant must overcome the strong presumption that the attorney’s actions were part of a sound trial strategy. To show prejudice, the defendant must demonstrate that there was a reasonable probability that, if the attorney had not acted in such a way, the outcome of the hearing would have been different.
However, if ineffective assistance of counsel is proved, then the defendant could start the case over with a new attorney. However, these types of claims rarely succeed and the possibility of raising such a claim should not be relied upon.
How much does it cost to hire an experienced sex crime attorney?
The cost of representation depends upon many factors. Generally, the cost is determined by the complexity of the case, the seriousness of the charges, the amount of evidence, the quantity of court documents involved, also taking into account the skill and experience levels of the attorneys, and to a small degree, the defendant’s location. Furthermore, federal cases tend to be more complex than state cases, so these are more expensive.
Frequently, CSC cases have serious consequences on par with homicide cases. For example, a defendant may face a more severe punishment than for a second-degree murder or manslaughter charge. Therefore, it is worthwhile to retain experienced counsel who can give the case the level of attention that is deserved.
At Kronzek at Cronkright, we find that sometimes it takes a group effort between the defendant and his or her family and friends to afford our services. However, our staff can help explore funding options with the defendant and the support group. The cost of services is usually determined at a friendly roundtable meeting with a defendant’s entire support group present.
How do I fire my court-appointed attorney?
Adult defendants may fire their court-appointed attorneys. However, unless the court determines there is good cause for the firing, then the court may not reassign another court-appointed attorney. If that happens, the defendant would need to represent himself or herself—which is not recommended. Alternatively, the defendant could hire another attorney.
At Kronzek and Cronkright, PLLC, countless individuals have hired us after firing their court-appointed attorneys. The earlier in the case that a person hires our firm, the more opportunity still exists to mount a strong defense. We will replace the court-appointed attorney for a new client to ease the transition. Call us today at 1-866-766-5245 or fill out our contact form to discuss your case with us .