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 15thkid Your Own Question
15thkid
15thkid, Criminal Defense
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 82
Experience:  Licensed Florida Attorney since 1988. Former law professor.
67675363
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
15thkid is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How do you get adequate counsel if you dont qualify financially

This answer was rated:

How do you get adequate counsel if you don't qualify financially for a public defender, but still cannot afford an attorney? If it is a felony case shouldn't the court allow me to be properly represented? To what point can the case be delayed for proper representation? Can they require me to have an attorney by a certain deadline? If they do, and I cannot afford one, would they automatically make me represent myself because I make just above the poverty line income?

15thkid :

Good morning. I'm sorry you are in this mess. You should carefully document your efforts to hire an attorney - names, how much they want, how much of it is up front, etc. Call more than a couple.

15thkid :

You need to even more carefully document your financial circumstances. How did they make the determination that you did not qualify for the public defender? Who made the decision? What information was it based upon? If possible, ask the person or people how the determination is made and about reconsideration. It may be that there is a piece of your financial picture that they don't have that you can document.

15thkid :

Judges generally do not like it when people do not have lawyers for felony charges. It is very messy. If it comes to that, do whatever you can to hire a lawyer rather than represent yourself. But you have many options before we get to that point. But judges also will not keep delaying the case for you to find an attorney. If you have assets, even if your income is very low, the Court can essentially "force" (expect) you to sell them or borrow against them to hire an attorney.

15thkid :

I would attack what appears to be a wrong decision that you do not qualify for the public defender. If you get nowhere with the bureaucrats involved in number-crunching, file a motion with the Court - Motion for Appointment of the Public Defender. Lay out all your financial obligations carefully. Give a copy of everything to the prosecutor.

15thkid :

I am starting to see why you are having so much trouble. Utah is the worst of the worst on providing lawyers for poor people charged with crimes.

15thkid :

Here is an Affidavit that west Virginia uses to determine whether you get a PD (I couldn't find one for Utah): http://www.wvpds.org/EligAffid.pdf It can give you an idea of what kind of info you should gather.

15thkid :

Here is another one: http://publicdefender.mt.gov/forms/pdf/IndigencyQuestionnaire.pdf These can be used to do your Motion, if needed. You should sign Motion in front of Notary - it should be under oath.

15thkid :

That should cover it! If you have any questions, just address them to 15thkid. Good Luck.

15thkid and 4 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you so incredibly much.
you are welcome. please let me know how it goes. i can always be reached by specifying "15thkid". good luck
15thkid and 4 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you

Related Criminal Law Questions