How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Joseph Your Own Question

Joseph
Joseph, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 7279
Experience:  I have 15 years experience in criminal litigation including several years as a felony prosecutor
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
Joseph is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I was found guilty of DUI by Jury. My lawyer asked the judge

Customer Question

I was found guilty of DUI by Jury in palm beach county, Florida. My lawyer asked the judge to overturn the verdict. judge's response was that if it were upto him he would not have found me guilty, but he can not overturn the Jury verdict eventhough he was surprised by the jury's verdict. He also denied me new trial. I want to appeal as I feel that I did not get an impartial jury. What are the guidelines to qualify for a public defender in this type of case (DUI appeals). Salary and asset requirements? If I have a house with a little equity, do I qualify?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Cedric replied 4 years ago.

If you qualify for a public defender at your first trial, then you do for your second. It differs from state to state and county to county, but most who want a public defender qualify for one. (Especially if your income is less than $50k a year).

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I did not know about public defenders and did not have one at my first trial. what about if I have a house with equity?

Expert:  Cedric replied 4 years ago.
That can matter, but if you can't afford a lawyer for your appeal, you're constitutionally entitled to a court appointed lawyer.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Do they require me to pay from the equity of the house? appeal cost lot more than an intial trial.
Expert:  Cedric replied 4 years ago.

I realize appeal could cost more, but public defenders are free.

 

So as long as you qualify, you don't have any financial liability at all.

Expert:  Joseph replied 4 years ago.

All due respect to my colleague, I believe he has inadvertently provided you some inaccurate information. I'm a Florida criminal defense attorney, just a few counties north of you, and I believe I can help you out.

 

Please give me a few minutes to type up a thorough response to your issues.

Expert:  Joseph replied 4 years ago.

In his first post, Mr. Severino indicated that the appointment varied "from county to county". This is incorrect. Florida statutes have specific requirements, this applies to ALL counties.

 

He further indicated that the appointment of the public defender (PD) was probable, "if your income is less than $50k a year." While income is a factor, Florida statutes specifically discuss ownership or property and use this more as a guideline than income.

 

In his next post, he indicated that, if you "couldn't AFFORD" an attorney, you have a constitutional right to an attorney. This is a common misperception, Florida statutes don't care if you can AFFORD an attorney, it cares if you are INDIGENT. There's a difference. For example, if you make $200,000 a year and your bills are $201,000 a year, you may not be able to AFFORD an attorney but you certainly are not INDIGENT.

 

He next indicated that "public defenders are free." In Florida, this is not true. By law, the fee for a PD is anywhere from $200 to $3,500 per case. While it is certainly less than hiring a private attorney, it is not free. Again, a common misperception.

 

He further indicated you would have no "financial liability". As you can see from the previous paragraph, this is not accurate. Further, if you don't pay at that time, the PD's office will place a civil lien against your home. That lien will remain in place for 20 years.

 

I have no doubt Mr. Severino meant well and I'm sure the information would be accurate in his home state. However, here in Florida, the law is a bit different.

 

 

Also, several customers have asked how they may direct a question to me in particular. If you specifically want me to assist you in your legal matter, just put "FOR JOSEPH" in the subject line and I will gladly pick up the question as soon as I am on-line.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks Joseph. my salary is only 32,000. would I qualify?

Expert:  Joseph replied 4 years ago.
Do you have more than $2,500 in equity in your home and/or car?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Yes. 30,000 in the house. 8000 in car.
Expert:  Joseph replied 4 years ago.

According to Florida statutory requirements, you do not qualify for a PD. Additionally, your income also creates a presumption of NOT being indigent, and therefore not being entitled to a PD.

 

Having said that, you can still TRY. As you likely know, you have to file a notice of intent to appeal within 30 days of the verdict. When you file the notice, go ahead and file a motion requesting the appointment of the PD. While the request will likely be denied, it doesn't hurt to try. However, please know that even filling out the application for the PD has a charge, it's $50.

 

 

Also, several customers have asked how they may direct a question to me in particular. If you specifically want me to assist you in your legal matter, just put "FOR JOSEPH" in the subject line and I will gladly pick up the question as soon as I am on-line.

Joseph, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 7279
Experience: I have 15 years experience in criminal litigation including several years as a felony prosecutor
Joseph and 8 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Joseph replied 4 years ago.

I am going off-line for the evening. Please feel free to respond, if necessary, and know that I will be back on-line tomorrow.

 

Thank you for your patience.

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Your Expert advise has provided insight on a difficult situation. Thank you so much for the prompt response. I will definitely recommend your website to my friends. Norma Pensacola, FL
< Last | Next >
  • Your Expert advise has provided insight on a difficult situation. Thank you so much for the prompt response. I will definitely recommend your website to my friends. Norma Pensacola, FL
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Fran L.

    JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor

    Satisfied Customers:

    8061
    18 yrs of NYC public defense. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/retiredlawyer/2012-6-6_19326_franL.64x64.jpg Fran L.'s Avatar

    Fran L.

    JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor

    Satisfied Customers:

    8061
    18 yrs of NYC public defense. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    2079
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/NA/nathanmoorelaw/2011-5-31_21375_headshotbig.64x64.jpg Nate's Avatar

    Nate

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1625
    Over 10 years of criminal defense practice.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LA/LawTalk/2012-6-6_17379_LawTalk.64x64.JPG LawTalk's Avatar

    LawTalk

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1434
    30 years legal experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PH/philip.simmons/2012-6-7_161915_BIGPhilipSimmons.64x64.jpg P. Simmons's Avatar

    P. Simmons

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1418
    16 yrs. of experience including criminal law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/marshadjd/2009-6-1_194320_marshajd.jpg Marsha411JD's Avatar

    Marsha411JD

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1380
    Licensed attorney with 27 yrs. exp. in criminal law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RO/RobertJDFL/2012-6-6_175352_7538220120606.64x64.jpg RobertJDFL's Avatar

    RobertJDFL

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1300
    Experienced in multiple areas of the law.