TaiChin Preyor faced capital punishment in Texas for a 2004 murder charge. On July 27th, the execution was carried-out, despite Preyor’s claims that his attorneys were incompetent. This raises the question of what legal incompetence looks like, and what warning signs to look for if you might have chosen the wrong lawyer.
Making sure that you beat your charges the first time is one of the most important parts of facing your criminal charges. If you were charged with a crime in South Jersey, talk to an experienced defense attorney today. The Atlantic City criminal defense attorneys at The Law Offices of John J. Zarych have helped criminal defense clients beat their charges, and have the experience to handle a wide array of criminal defense cases. Call our attorneys today for a free consultation on your charges.
What Makes an Attorney Incompetent?
This Texas case is a prime example of some serious problems that could lead to ineffective representation. According to Preyor’s claims, his attorneys’ actions were examples of terrible lawyering mistakes. Allegedly, his attorney:
- Was from a different state (California), and had never practiced in Texas before;
- Was a real-estate lawyer, not a criminal defense attorney;
- Was partnered with a lawyer who was disbarred for incompetence 15 years earlier;
- Used Wikipedia to research the death penalty and appeals process; and
- Double-billed the defendant’s mother and the court for legal services.
While these claims are not confirmed, other attorneys in the area reportedly used one of this attorneys’ court filings as an example of “what not to do” as a lawyer.
While most cases are not going to have these obvious warning signs, there are plenty of ways that this case is a cautionary tale for any defendant facing charges. When your freedom is on the line, you need a well-trained, strategic, and experienced criminal defense attorney on your side.
It is important that your attorney understands the laws of the state where you were charged. The attorneys at The Law Offices of John J. Zarych are admitted to practice law in New Jersey, and have decades of experience doing so. If you were charged with a crime while on vacation at the Jersey Shore or Atlantic City, you may want to reconsider using an attorney from your home state. Selecting a New Jersey attorney instead helps assures experience and familiarity with New Jersey law.
John Zarych has been practicing as a criminal defense attorney in New Jersey for over 30 years, with consummate experience in criminal trials. Along with the other attorneys at his firm, John Zarych’s focus on criminal defense means a honed ability to represent anyone on any type of crime.
Can I Choose my Own Attorney?
In New Jersey and across the country, you have the right to an attorney on your case. If you cannot afford an attorney, the government is required to provide you with one. If you can afford an attorney, however, you are entitled to use whichever qualified attorney you decide to use. This gives you the ability to choose an attorney you trust to represent you, protect your freedom, and treat you with respect.
If you have already selected a criminal defense attorney on your case, it may not be too late to change your mind and choose a different attorney. If your case is still in the early stages, you might be able to switch attorneys. If you were charged with a crime, and a court date was scheduled, you may still have time to change attorneys. Even if you already faced your preliminary hearing, you might be able to change lawyers before your trial begins.
You generally have the right to fire your attorney, and legal ethics rules generally require an attorney to respect that decision. However, if your case is already quite far along or is in the middle of trial, a judge may not allow you to switch attorneys. Firing your lawyer in the middle of a trial, or in the days leading up to the trial, could set you back weeks or months regarding the planning that goes into a criminal trial. If you are unhappy with the way your attorney has handled your case so far, talk to them about changing attorneys early in the process to give yourself time to select another attorney.
If you are forced to rely upon a free, court-appointed lawyer, you may only switch lawyers if you are able to raise enough money to hire your own lawyer. Otherwise, you might not be given a choice in which attorney you use.
Atlantic City Criminal Defense Attorney
Trust our attorneys to handle your case with the seriousness it deserves. Our attorneys have the legal resources, trial experience, and criminal law experience with New Jersey law to put up a strong defense on your criminal charges. If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime in New Jersey, consider taking your case to the Atlantic City criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych. Call (609) 616-4956 today for a free consultation on your case.