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Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27686
Experience:  25 years experience practicing attorney
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Who Do I get in contact with regarding my brothers constitutional

Customer Question

Who Do I get in contact with regarding my brother's constitutional right being violated during a criminal court case?? He was tried and convicted in absentia. He attended the first day of court. Afterwards, he told my mother some things, which led her to take him to the hospital. As a result, he was involuntarily committed. His public defender, who was absolutely no help as a lawyer, was made aware of this in a very timely manner. The trial continued without my brother present, and he was convicted while involuntarily committed. We have tried contacting his lawyer, but he will not even speak to us. I think this is a violation of due process, which should have been protecting under the fifth, sixth, and fourteenth amendments.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 1 year ago.

Dear JACUSTOMER - Everyone has the right to at least one appeal after being convicted at trial. The lawyer who handled the case would not be the one to file for the appeal since the issue of "ineffective assistance of counsel" is certain to come up. You can contact the local public defender's office or you can contact the Bar Association and explain the situation. Unless you are an attorney you cannot represent him in court so you need legal assistance. I have provided the website for the Bar Association below and I have also included the website for the Innocence Project which assists persons wrongly accused of crimes. Your brother definitely deserves the chance to appeal under these circumstances.

http://www.ncbar.org/public-pro-bono/lawyer-referral-service.aspx

http://www.innocenceproject.org/

Dave Kennett, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27686
Experience: 25 years experience practicing attorney
Dave Kennett and 7 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 1 year ago.
What else do you want to know?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Oh, I was trying to figure out if indeed him not being to attend court, and trial proceeding, is a violation of his rights?
Do you know who I could contact that does pro bono work in these types of cases/appeals
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 1 year ago.
The two websites I gave you are the only ones I know of other than the public defender. Our system provides for bro bono attorneys for criminal cases so most attorneys will not do pro bono work unless appointed by the court. That is why I suggested the Bar Association to see if they have an attorneys willing to handle this. Being tried in absentia is not unheard of but there certainly are rights to confrontation that are violated in most cases. I can't say specifically that his rights were violated but your facts certainly present some Constitutional issues.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
okay, thanks
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 1 year ago.
No problem and thanks for using our service - Dave

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