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Criminal Sexual Conduct - Can I Switch Attorneys?

As a top rated criminal sexual conduct attorney, we specifically concentrate our practice and defending those accused of CSC. This includes CSC 1st Degree, CSC 2nd Degree, CSC 3rd Degree, and CSC 4th Degree.

It may come as a surprise to learn that many calls we receive seeking our representation in Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct charges are from people who already have an Attorney, but they are seeking to replace him or her because they are not satisfied.

You might be wondering “Why would that happen? How can it be that a person charged with a serious crime like Criminal Sexual Conduct can go through the process of interviewing multiple lawyers, choosing one they feel comfortable with, believing that this person will get the results they seek, and paying a large sum of money - only to find out to their dismay that the lawyer they chose simply doesn’t possess the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate their way through the very unique issues in these cases?" These unique things include expert witnesses, Rape Shield motions, based on prior false allegations of sexual assault by the accuser, objecting to "other acts" witnesses when multiple accusers surface, a Rape Kit, DNA another scientific evidence, rape kits, and many, many other things.

Choosing the Right Attorney For Your Case

When most people are charged with a crime, they correctly realize that they should hire a Criminal Defense Attorney. Ideally, this is an Attorney would devotes his or her practice completely (or nearly completely) to criminal defense. However, many people are not aware that even within the realm of criminal defense practice, there are lawyers who specialize in handling certain types of criminal charges, such as drunk driving, weapons offenses, narcotics, etc. Well, if there was ever a category of crimes that would benefit from of an Attorney who specifically concentrates on it, Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct charges and other Sex Crimes are at the top o the list. Simply put, some people unwittingly make the wrong decisions, waste big money, and place their trust in a lawyer only to find out when it’s too late that whom they have actually hired is more like a “Jack of all trades, master of none.“ That might be OK for certain simple charges such as retail fraud, misdemeanor assault, and misdemeanor possession. But when you’re facing a Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct charge, that’s the last situation you want to be in.

The point being made here is easy to understand: hire the right attorney in a CSC case - period. But here’s the question: “What if I’ve already made the wrong decision? Can I switch Attorneys and hire an experienced CSC Attorney with a proven track record?" The answer: It depends. To understand the issue, imagine yourself in the following (VERY common) scenario…

  • You're facing a charge of Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan. At some point, you realize your lawyer isn't up to the task. Usually, this happens sometime after the Preliminary Examination (a "mini trial" toward the beginning of the case in District Court) or shortly thereafter when the case is "bound over" to Circuit Court. You realize the lawyer is inept, either because of his lack of preparation or skill in questioning the witnesses at the Preliminary Exam, or because you're beginning to realize that their advice in convincing you to waive the Preliminary Exam was bad advice. For some reason or another, something just doesn't feel right about the lawyer, so you start calling around...
  • Not surprisingly, anyone with a proven track record of success in Criminal Sexual Conduct cases (i.e. getting Jury Trial verdicts of Not Guilty, etc.) isn't cheap. Now, you're starting to think about all the thousands you've already wasted on the inept lawyer. You may even try to call your current lawyer and ask for some money back. Regardless, this time, you tell yourself, you'll be able to separate the good from the bad.
  • You finally find a Criminal Sexual Conduct Attorney that you trust with a proven record of success - so there's no question they have the skills to get the result. The only problem is...
  • Now, your case has been ongoing for several months, and now the Circuit Court Judge has set trial for two months from now. As you tell this to your new potential lawyer, you realize that lawyers who are actually worth their fee tend to have their schedules pretty packed for the next few months - not only do they already have a trial set for the same week as yours, they'll need time to adequately prepare for all trials just like yours well in advance. So you ask the new lawyer if he or she can get your trial date moved. But here's the Catch-22...
  • Unless and until the new lawyer is officially paid and hired, they're not going to be allowed to file the necessary Motion to Adjourn to figure out if they can get the case delayed in the first place. They have to be hired, paid, and file an Appearance first. Once that Appearance is field, the lawyer is stuck on the case for better or worse - if the lawyer has a conflicting trial date with another CSC case, the Court will assume that the lawyer knew that when he or she was hired, and many Judges are very concerned about delaying cases because it creates problems for them with the Supreme Court Administration. The Judge may say "Too bad."
  • The lawyer can of course file the Motion to Adjourn the trial date, and if it is granted, great - huge relief.
  • But if the Motion to Adjourn is denied and the Judge says "Too bad," then what is the plan? Now, you've got money trust, and your future invested in a lawyer who simply cannot prepare for and do both trials at the same time. You'd basically have to hire yet another lawyer to get out of this predicament.
  • Obviously, this is a position that neither you nor the lawyer wants to be in, but in the end, you'll end up paying for it - literally, perhaps in the form of a wrongful conviction.
RELATED: Old Detroit Rape Kit cases being prosecuted in Wayne County.

Can I Switch Lawyers? 

The bottom-line: Yes, you can switch lawyers in your Criminal Sexual Conduct case, but that needs to happen as SOON as you realize the need to switch. There comes a point where no lawyer will want to take the case because there are just too many scheduling uncertainties. With each day that passes, it becomes more difficult. That's why when you're hiring a Michigan CSC Attorney, you have every incentive to get it right the first time.

Prain Law, PLLC concentrates on defending those accused of Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan. We handle Criminal Sexual Conduct cases in Wayne County, Oakland County, Macomb County, Washtenaw County, and all around Metro Detroit and the rest of Michigan, too, sometimes even up north.

Metro Detroit Criminal Sexual Conduct Attorney Brian J. Prain has been ranked as a Top 10 Criminal Defense Lawyer in Michigan by the NACDA, has been named one of the Michigan Top 100 Criminal Defense Trial Lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers, was one of 55 lawyers nationwide in 2013 to attend Gerry Spence's Trial Lawyers College in Wyoming, and has been featured in Super Lawyers Magazine and Hour Detroit. Brian was also named as one of the Top 18 Criminal Defense Lawyers in Detroit by Expertise.com, and was named one of D Business Magazine's Top Lawyers for 2019 and 2020.

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