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 Marsha411JD Your Own Question

Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 17028
Experience:  Licensed attorney with 28 yrs. exp. in criminal law
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
Marsha411JD is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

We have a situation in a probation violation case where the

Resolved Question:

We have a situation in a probation violation case where the prosecuting attorney in the case is now the head of the District Attorney's Office and has appointed a court appointed attorney from his former firm( who was the prosecuting attorney at the time) to represent the person who is facing a probation violation. To me this seems like a conflict of interest how would the defendent receive a fair trial? I should also note that the person who is head of the DA office now also had a personal interest in the original case. (a friend or family member). What is the appropriate term to be used here and what are our option to ensure the defendent receives a fair trial?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

I am sorry but I must be confused about the facts that you presented and will need you to clarify them for me. In particular you said the DA (Head prosecutor) appointed a defense counsel to represent this individual in their VOP hearing. That is not possible, since only the court (a judge) and the Public Defender, who does not work for the prosecutor, can appoint and assign a defense counsel. Any clarification you can add would help.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My appologies, I thought the DA's office oppointed the defense counsel. This is making more sense to me now. Our Case is in regards XXXXX XXXXX personal loan that was taken out in the amount of $60,000. for a business adventure. The Judge has a relationship with the prosecuting attorney (at that time) John.

 

John (the prosecuting attrny at time) is friends with the person whom the original loan was taken out with.

The original loan was taken out against a house in Hood River and the daughter had Mom sign the deed of the house over to her then the brother and the friend (prosecuting attorney John) felt this was dipping into an inheritance.

 

That's where our case came in, because the personal loan was taken with daughter who had the deed signed over to her from the house.

 

So now the defendent is back in Hood River for a Probation Violation (Probation would be up in 9 months) and our Public defender (court appointed attorney) is from the same office that the prosecuting attorney John (who is now Head of the DA's office).

The Public Defender Brian has talked the defendent into waiving a 14 day right to something... can you tell me what that something could be?

 

Why would the Public Defender who is from the same previous office as the prosecuting attorney(now head of the DA office) want to waive any rights?

 

Can the DA's office re-visit the case? and this seems like a huge Conflict of Interest to me? What can we do to ensure the defendent is given a fair hearing?

 

Thank you for your help I hope this claifies things if I can be more specific please let me know.

 

Sincerely,

B

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 3 years ago.
Hello again B,

Unfortunately there is no way for me to guess what the defendant's public defender is recommending that he waive. That is something that the defendant will need to get clarified. There are often times actions that an attorney might recommend that might not make sense from a tactical standpoint to someone who is not an attorney. That is why it is important to ask questions and have the situation explained so that you can make an informed decision. Just like with medical care. It does come down to the need to have faith that the professional knows what they are doing. If the defendant in this case doesn't feel comfortable with their attorney, they could ask for a new public defender, but they may or may not be successful depending on their reasons. If his attorney is negligent in his duties or otherwise violates attorney ethics rules, then he can appeal any court actions based on ineffective assistance of counsel. Or, report this attorney to the State Bar Association.

As for the conflict of interest, I'm not sure I understand all the dynamics and couldn't give you an absolute opinion even if I did, since that would violate the terms and conditions of our use of this website, but if any of the actual court personnel were involved directly in a previous business deal with the defendant versus being an attorney involved in a prior case, then the defendant could ask for them to be removed from the case. However, as I just indicated, if these are just attorneys that know each other personally and have worked together before, then there isn't anything per se that is a conflict in their working on opposite sides or in judgment in this case. This happens everyday, especially in small towns. It can be a little discomforting, but attorneys are professionals who are sworn to a certain code of ethics that require that they act objectively and in the best interests of their clients. If that duty is violated, then the defendant would have cause to file appeals or complaints.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Can the DA's office re-open the case on a probation violation? Can this night mare start all over again?

 

Should his probation officer be asking me questions about his previous case?

 

Sincerely,

B

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 3 years ago.
I really can't say because I don't have a fraction of the facts that I would need to know what the real underlying issue is here. Anytime someone is on probation they can be violated for not following the terms of the probation as long as the violation occurred during their probationary time. So, the DA can always look into something, but it is up to the court to decide if there has been a violation during that time period and up to his defense counsel to challenge the allegation of violation.
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 17028
Experience: Licensed attorney with 28 yrs. exp. in criminal law
Marsha411JD and other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your time, this has helped us.

 

I don't know how we are to fight a small town system like Hood River with out an outside attorney. But this has helped me understand the system a little better.

 

Thank you,

B

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 3 years ago.
You're welcome and best of luck to you.

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.