What is the effect of revocation of pro. per. status on the presentation of the defense?

California, United States of America

The following excerpt is from People v. Davis, 189 Cal.App.3d 1177, 234 Cal.Rptr. 859 (Cal. App. 1987):

The defendant complains that the revocation occurred quite late in the trial, he having just concluded the examination of his second witness, and his standby counsel, who had not been privy to the defendant's plans for his own defense, was not afforded sufficient time to prepare. If there was a problem, it was of the defendant's own doing. People v. Brownlee (1977) 74 Cal.App.3d 921, 930-933, 141 Cal.Rptr. 685.) We note, however, that counsel was present from the middle of the voir dire, his advisory services were voluntarily relinquished, and it was six days after his appointment that the next witness was called. We further note that the defendant refused to speak to his attorney on any subject relating to the trial until he, the defendant, indicated that he wished to testify in his own defense. The record does not indicate when that was, but, if the presentation of the defense suffered, the defendant is substantially to blame. It may be prudent henceforth, however, to advise a defendant seeking pro. per. status, that, if the status is granted and later revoked or relinquished, the new defense counsel may well be at a disadvantage to the defendant's detriment. 28

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