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Jane Doe Deer
Jane Doe Deer, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 3896
Experience:  Attorney since 1986; Plain English explanations
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My son has been sitting in the county jail of potter

Customer Question

My son has been sitting in the county jail of potter county pennslyvania for now almost 6 months, in was three months before he had a prelimary hearing. HIs public defender never returns his requests, nor answers my phone. My son has no idea what is going to happen. Has his civil rights been violated and if so what is the step I need to take to do something about it? I have the address to the district attornerys office which I am going to write a letter.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Jane Doe Deer replied 8 years ago.

Thank you for contacting Just Answer.

Has your son ever signed away his right to a speedy trial?

You need to write to the head of the public defender's office, not to the district attorney. The public defender is your side. The district attorney is the opposing side.

I'll await your response.


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I looked up who was in charge of the one public defender for that county and I believe two others and frankly I don't believe he has a boss. He doesn't seem to care what so ever about what is going on, doesn't seem to put an ounce of effort in getting back with my son and in no uncertian terms pretty much to me he is very busy and will get to things when he gets to it. My son and two others are the only ones there since before christmas. This is Potter County PA. As far as actually signing something waiving his rigts to a speedy trial I have no idea if he did, I would like to think he has not.
Expert:  Jane Doe Deer replied 8 years ago.

OK, well ask your son if he signed that.

You may have to work your way up the county chain of command. You may also need to work your legislators (the state ones, not the federal ones). It also doesn't hurt to try and get a reporter interested in the story.


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Okay if I need to work my way up the county chain of command who is it exactly that I start with what is their title? Next where do I look up the legislators, this is up in PA and I am in NC. Please tell me
Also if he has not signed his rights away, what then do we do?
What would a reporter possibly do, this is a small hoe pock town in the middle of the mountains of PA
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I am waiting on an answer to my question. If I need to work my way up the county chain, who is that, what is their title. Is that the county commissioner? Tell me what source to find the legislators? I am in NC, my son is up in PA. This is Potter County PA, it is a small out of the way town in the mountians.
If he has not signed his rights to a speedy trial then what is the step that we take, to correct this problem. I am going bed I have to work tommorrow please answer as soon as possible I will check my email tomorrow
Expert:  Jane Doe Deer replied 8 years ago.

You need to contact the Director of the Public Defender Agency.

You also need to talk with your son and ask him if he signed a waiver of his right to a speedy trial.

Forget about legislators, I didn't realize that you are in a different state.

What is your son charged with?


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Jane Doe Deer's Post: He hid inside a small convenience store, when they closed he took 18 cartons of cigerettes and left.

He was staying at his dads and his logic was he wanted to come back home. He was somewhat spotted on a camera, the picture went in the small town paper and his father turned him in. I am not saying he was right in what he done he was not. What my concern is why is he not being properly informed and completely forgetton. I know in a certian sense is because I am not loaded with money to spend several thousand dollars. No he wasn't right, but that doesn't mean his rights should be violated.
When I looked up the County Government website for Potter I found a place that lists, the Judges, Jail, Tax office etc. For the public defender section it had one name the only act in town. My son heres he has a notorious rep, as not doing a good job. He basically said to me some months back that he is the one act for three counties, and pretty much in between the lines told me, he will get to it when he gets to it. Never returns my calls, and my son has to numerous times request to see him. THe lawyer hasn't said anything to him and he had initially waited almost three full months for a pelirmary hearing, now there is a hearing July 2nd he still doesn't know anything.
I truly feel he is being mistreated and cast aside. I do believe his rights are being violated and he is my son, what voice does he have besides his own but mind.
So for a director of the public defenders who could that possibly be? This is Potter County Pennslyvania (Couldersport Jail)
Expert:  Jane Doe Deer replied 8 years ago.

From what you described, the defense attorney is just spread too thin.

You're going to have to either get some money together to hire a decent attorney or make enough noise to enough people that people will start paying attention. For example, you could sit in front of the courhouse in a chair with a picket sign. That's legal and will attract attention without hurting anyone. Now, that's not legal advice - that's more of what I'd do if I didn't have any money and had to do something.

Take care,



Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Jane Doe Deer's Post: So from what I am gathering here, should I write to the county commissioners. I want to know who this district attorney has to answer too. I really don't care much if he is spread thin, then get another lawyer in there.
Second what do we do should he not have waived his rights to a speedy trial?
Expert:  Jane Doe Deer replied 8 years ago.

Sure, write to the county Commissioners.

If he didn't waive his rights, he can move to have the charges dismissed.

You can also set a bail hearing and try to bail him out. It shouldn't cost much if his record is otherwise good.