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RHODE ISLAND CRIMINAL DEFENSE
A Practice Manual, 4th Edition
© John E. MacDonald
State v. Moran, 699 A.2d 20 (R.I. 1997). Defendant requested a continuance before trial so that his trial counsel would be available to try the case. The trial court denied the request and forced defendant to hire another attorney two days before trial. R.I.S.C. reversed and ordered a new trial.
State v. Ashness, 461 A.2d 659 (R.I. 1983). At the start of an armed robbery trial, the defendant requested representation by his previous public defender or that he be able to retain private counsel. His current public defender had just recently been assigned the case. The trial judge denied the motion and R.I.S.C. affirmed.
State v. Dias, 374 A.2d 1028 (R.I. 1977). The trial judge refused defendant’s request for a continuance to retain private counsel. The public defender was forced to conduct a probation violation hearing immediately despite the fact that he believed private counsel would enter and thus no hearing preparations were made. R.I.S.C. reversed, ruling that the trial judge abused his discretion.
State v. Caprio, 819 A.2d 1265 (R.I. 2003). Defendant in a probation violation hearing requested a continuance to obtain new counsel because his attorney unintentionally misrepresented the state’s offer in a plea agreement. (Counsel said the offer was six years with fifteen months to serve when in actuality the offer was fifteen years with six years to serve.) R.I.S.C. upheld the trial court’s denial of defendant’s motion.
State v. Snell, 892 A.2d 108 (R.I. 2006). Five days before trial began, defendant sought to discharge his court-appointed counsel. His motion was denied then, and denied again when raised on the first day of trial. Defendant’s family then told defense counsel that he was “fired,” as defendant had retained private counsel. Trial court refused the request for a continuance, finding that defendant was attempting to stall the trial. R.I.S.C. affirmed.
State v. Gilbert, 984 A.2d 26 (R.I. 2009). The hearing justice at defendant’s probation violation hearing denied defendant’s request for a continuance to obtain alternate counsel because he lacked confidence in his appointed attorney. The attorney’s request to withdraw was denied as well. R.I.S.C. affirmed.
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