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Barrister
Barrister, Criminal Defense Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 34315
Experience:  16 years practicing criminal defense.
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Do you need to have an appointed lawyer before going to an

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Do you need to have an appointed lawyer before going to an arraignment? or will one be appointed to you at that time? The arrest was for Possession of Class A substance, posses sion of needles, OUI, and expired license. The keys were in the ignition, but parked in a public playground sport park. However, she was high and is 26 of age.
Hello and welcome! My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
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Do you need to have an appointed lawyer before going to an arraignment? or will one be appointed to you at that time?
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If the defendant hasn't hired their own attorney prior to being arraigned, then it is not critical to have one at that point. The arraignment is just where the judge explains what the charges are against the defendant and asks them if they want to plead "guilty" or "not guilty". If she has not retained a private attorney, then typically the judge will appoint a Public Defender to represent the person at least for purposes of arraignment.
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If for some reason a PD hasn't been appointed, then the standard route is for the defendant to plead "not guilty" and then the case is set for a pretrial a few weeks later. Often the judge will just enter a "not guilty" plea for the defendant automatically and then appoint the PD. This gives them time to talk to an attorney, whether private or PD. They can then make a more permanent decision whether to plead or not depending on what the "offer" is by the DA for a guilty plea to the offense at the pretrial hearing.
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As an aside, I used to be a PD long ago..
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Barrister
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

She cannot afford a private attorney, and we have already spent thousands on rehabs, treatments, insurance, and other expenses that come along with an addicts life. This is her first arrest and hopefully she will get it this time. I want her to learn from this and take responsibility, but I want good counseling. Does court appointed really do the best for the individual or will she just be an another number to them? T

To be honest with you, it doesn't happen like you see on TV. There are no impassioned arguments with the DA and the PD fighting over the case. The PD doesn't spend weeks trying to get to know the defendant and their background. They simply don't have the time due to the tremendous caseload. It was very common for me to have 19 or 20 cases a day to try and resolve. The PD will review her case and will know about what the DA will offer based on years of experience and likely hundreds if not thousands of cases. In most criminal cases A + B = an offer of C. So whether she had private counsel of a PD, it is unlikely the DA's offer would change.
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So the PD and the DA will discuss the case, the DA will make their standard offer for the charge, and the PD will try to negotiate a better deal. DA will give a little considering it is her first offense and then the PD will relate the offer to her and go over the evidence they have. Then they will decide whether to take it to trial or accept the offer (+97% of the time).
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As for a penalty, that is typically set by a local DA. But I would expect some amount of suspended jailtime, probation, drug treatment program, fines and court costs. Then if she violated her probation in any way, she would do the jailtime.
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Thanks
Barrister
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