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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 32319
Experience:  Numerous criminal trials ranging from traffic to murder, practicing Criminal Law for 20+ years.
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I am currently charged with 2 theft charges. In short the state

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I am currently charged with 2 theft charges. In short the state is accusing me of stealing from a non profit I founded and financed. The board of directors played no role in filing the charges and believe I did not steal from the organization. The criminal charges resulted from a civil regulatory division of the attorney generals non profit office
They also were very aggressive shutting down the company and my ability to pay for my defense which the board approved. The state felt it was inappropriate to indemnify me despite the bylaws allowing for board members to be. I did manage to qualify for a public defender
The PD requested funds for an expert witness. The judge did approve it but has only approved partial payments. We have gone through 3 hearings to get the payments approved. At every hearing the judge has required me to testify regarding my finacial status with opposing counsel present. The judge at the second hearing ordered that if I win my case that I would have to pay the county back the full amount out of my 401k account which is currently been frozen due to the criminal charges. At my latest hearing to release a payment the judge raised concerns about the county taxpayers footing the bill for my defense and once again asked me numerous questions in front of opposing counsel. I currently have a job which pays me at the federal poverty level . The judge ordered me to submit once again all of my financial documentation for the past 2 years
Sorrry for the long background before question. My questions are: 1. If I qualified for public defender and was approved can the judge continue to raise issues regarding my financial status while I await trial which has been over 2 years? 2. Can judge put a lien on my 401k to pay for expert despite qualifying and being approved for public defender. 3. Is it not unfair to put me on the stand in open court in front of opposing counsel? 4. Is not the partial payments to my expert create unnecessary delays in finishing his review and his motivation to review the case thouroughly?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts.I am going to answer your questions in the order in which they are presented.1. If I qualified for public defender and was approved can the judge continue to raise issues regarding my financial status while I await trial which has been over 2 years?Yes, the judge can continue to re-visit the issue of your financial situation to determine if it has changed since you initially were approved for a public defender. 2. Can judge put a lien on my 401k to pay for expert despite qualifying and being approved for public defender.This question is a little harder and I don't know of any case law on the topic. However, I think the judge can "put a lien" on it on a temporary basis and then decide later whether he is going to try and collect from it. Usually any type of liquid assets prevent you from qualifying for court aid, whether it be an expert or a lawyer, but 401ks and retirement plans are a little different because they are regulated by federal as well as state law. There is no harm at this time by placing a temporary lien on it unless you were planning on withdrawing money in which case the judge would be entitled to know about that as it could affect whether or not you were still qualified to receive court appointed lawyers and experts. However, at the end of the case, and especially if you win, I don't think the judge will actually be able to take the money from the 401k.3. Is it not unfair to put me on the stand in open court in front of opposing counsel?No. not so long as the only thing you are being asked about is your financial information and your lawyer is present. It's customary that this is done in front of opposing counsel. There is no mechanism for a "private hearing" of a defendant in a criminal case.4. Is not the partial payments to my expert create unnecessary delays in finishing his review and his motivation to review the case thouroughly?If you lose and your expert is willing to testify to that and your lawyer has done a thorough job of "preserving error" then you can argue that on appeal but most experts who are court appointed are paid in this manner or not paid until the end of trial when everything is complete.

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