Consequences of Defendant's Desire to Discharge His Court Appointed Lawyer Before the Beggining of Trial
In Nelson v. State, 274 So. 2d 256 (Fla. 4th DCA 1973), the court held:
Where a defendant, before the commencement of trial, makes it appear to the trial judge that he desires to discharge his court appointed counsel, the trial judge, in order to protect the indigent's right to effective counsel, should make an inquiry of the defendant as to the reason for the request to discharge.
If incompetency of counsel is assigned by the defendant as the reason, or a reason, the trial judge should make a sufficient inquiry of the defendant and his appointed counsel to determine whether or not there is reasonable cause to believe that the court appointed counsel is not rendering effective assistance to the defendant.
If reasonable cause for such belief appears, the court should make a finding to that effect on the record and appoint a substitute attorney who should be allowed adequate time to prepare the defense.
If no reasonable basis appears for a finding of ineffective representation, the trial court should so state on the record and advise the defendant that if he discharges his original counsel the State may not thereafter be required to appoint a substitute. See Wilder v. State, (Fla. App. 1963) 156 So. 2d 395, 397.
If the defendant continues to demand a dismissal of his court appointed counsel, the trial judge may in his discretion discharge counsel and require the defendant to proceed to trial without representation by court appointed counsel. 274 So. 2d at 258-59.