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Moe Manser
Moe Manser, Paralegal
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 162
Experience:  President of U.S. Legal Research Corp., over 15 years of assisting lawyers nationwide. Federal/State
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Background In Connecticut. Female had divorced. She ...

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Background: In Connecticut. Female had divorced. She has 2 teenage children. After the divorce the husband and female have fight at home of female. Female calls police. They both are accused of disorderly conduct and go to court and order to attend classes with Family services and to appear at court in Sept 2007 after taken classes.   The female''s mother is diagnosed with cancer in July 2007 and dies in October 2007. Female was primary care helper for mother(transportation, support, etc). Female also has knee surgery and moves between July - September 2007. During this period she attends Family services classes although at times   She misses classes and then in Sept 2007 misses the court date. She does not notify. Now in Feb 2008. Police call and is required to turn self in. She does. goes to court and DA says accussed of disorderly conduct initially, failure to finish classes and failure to appear in court. not given any public defender. not sure what to do and consequences.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Moe Manser replied 9 years ago.
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When a charged defendant is brought before a judge for hearing, the judge will ask the defendant if he or she wants to hire an attorney privately or use a court-appointed attorney for their defense. Before a defendant can qualify for access to court-appointed attorneys, he or she must be facing a criminal charge that carries the potential for an imprisonment sentence if convicted. They must further prove indigent, not being able to afford legal counsel, and will be asked to divulge financial information verifying their situation. If the judge determines that the defendant cannot afford, counsel, they will approve the request for a court-appointed attorney.

In most cases, court-appointed attorneys are not completely free of charge unless the defendant is not convicted of the crime they were originally charged with. Typically, if a defendant is convicted, a judgment is entered requiring payment based on several factors including financial situation, severity of the charge, and depth of defense. In most cases, court-appointed attorneys are less costly than private attorneys.

As per your friends claim, that if court does not appoint you an attorney, they will throw out the case, that is not true. If you can not afford an attorney and you do not qualify for a public defender, most likely you will have to proceed pro se, meaning that you will represent yourself, however if you can not afford the court cost, you can pick up an application from the court clerk and you can apply to the court to proceed "In Forma Pauperis." Although that phrase means "In The Form of a Pauper," you don't have to be completely destitute or without funds to use this procedure, this will eliminate all cour fees.


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