Can a Defense Attorney Quit a Case?

When you consult with a Greenville criminal defense lawyer for the first time, they may take or refuse your case. No legal professional is obliged to take you on as a client. But what happens if they agree to represent you? Can a defense attorney quit a case at any point and leave you without legal representation?

Here is what you need to know on this sensitive topic:

Legal Professionals Do Not Quit Cases on a Whim

A reputable lawyer will not abandon you during an ongoing case for light and frivolous reasons. This would represent a major stain on their professional reputation and future caseload.

This is why the attorney will ask so many detailed questions during the free case review. They want to know if you are cooperative, upfront and if they can represent you in good conscience.

When Can a Lawyer Withdraw from a Case?

There are two reasons why a criminal defense attorney would withdraw from a case:

  • Mandatory reasons
  • Voluntary reasons

Let us examine each of them in detail:

What Are Mandatory Reasons for a Lawyer to Quit a Case?

Legal professionals must stop representing a client when laws, regulations or ethical concerns order them to do so. One of the most common situations is the existence of a conflict of interests. For instance, if the attorney is personally involved in a criminal case as an eyewitness or expert witness, they cannot provide legal representation to the defendant.

Other reasons for mandatory withdrawal, according to the American Bar Association, are:

  • The client asks the lawyer to do something illegal (tamper with evidence, for instance)
  • The lawyer was suspended from practicing law by a disciplinary committee
  • The client wishes to stop being represented by the lawyer

Common Reasons for Voluntary Withdrawal from a Case

A reputable Greenville criminal defense lawyer will not quit a case easily. Here are some of the valid reasons why an attorney would voluntarily withdraw from representing a client:

a lawyer can withdraw from a case if the client breaks the law

1. Inability to Represent the Client

Accidents or illness can happen to anyone, including lawyers. If an injury or health condition prevents the attorney from attending court hearings and focusing on building your defense, they will withdraw.

However, the attorney will most certainly refer you to a reputable legal professional who can take over and provide you with the best defense.

2. Major Disagreements between Client and Lawyer

Everyone wants to walk away from a courtroom free and with a “not guilty” verdict. However, it is not always possible. And the best thing a lawyer can do is reach a fair plea bargain with the prosecution.

If the client strongly disagrees and insists on pursuing a line of defense which is detrimental to their case, the attorney may choose to stop representing the client.

3. The Client Commits a Criminal Act

Finally, a lawyer may choose to quit a case if the client did something illegal after hiring the attorney. For example, defendants are usually prohibited from contacting witnesses. If an attorney’s client does so, trying to influence their testimony, this is a serious criminal offense.

At this point the attorney can, in good conscience, refuse to continue representing the client.

Play Fair and a Greenville Criminal Defense Lawyer Will Get the Best Results Possible!

The client-attorney relationship is privileged and protected by confidentiality. However, the client must be 100% honest and upfront with their Greenville criminal defense lawyer.

Honesty and truth plus trust in your lawyer’s experience will result in the best possible outcome for your case.

As a new client, you benefit from a free case review, so call us at 864-263-1679!