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JD, Criminal Justice Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1335
Experience:  Over 11 years of practice in litigation including 10 years as a state prosecutor
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My son moved here to Arizona from NJ. In the past he was in

Customer Question

My son moved here to Arizona from NJ. In the past he was in trouble but they are holding that against him now as when he arrived here he changed his CDL license and driving license if he was running from anything would he do this. Well NJ put out a warrant for his arrest said he missed a court hearing which he did not ever get notice for. They had his address here at my home as they sent the local police to arrest myson, he was at work I called him and he came home and called the police to come back over and they arrested him on the spot my son said he did not know what he was being arrested for and they never read him his miranda rights until they got him to jail and they called NJ thats when he was read his miranda rights. Know one will listen to him that he did nothing wrong and was charged wrongfully. He has an appointed lawyer but she told him that she works for the state and he would be better off getting a private lawyer but they want $10,000 that none of the family has.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  JD replied 8 years ago.

Extradition cases can be very confusing... particularly in the beginning. Is he in NJ now? Does he have a public defender there in NJ? Was he ever charged with anything in Arizona or was he simply sent to NJ (extradited)? What was he convicted of or charged with in NJ? Finally... what is your question?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Yes, he is in Toms River, NJ in the local jail for the past 6 mo's. He does have a public defender there but she told him he would be better off with an outside lawyer as she has to follow the rules of the state. In other words, she is only doing the steps that is required of her and not helping him at all. Nothing in Arizona it is only in NJ. I guess they call it theft by deception but they keep taking him into court and keep postponing the date to send him back to his cell. He is not guilty but cannot prove it without help from a lawyer. As I said they all want $10,000 this is not fair as no one in the family can afford this amt and so he just sits there. Where do we go from here? I tried to contact the American Civil Liberties Union to see if they can help him. He was only the salesman for this company and did do work the owner agreed to it and signed paperwork but there is something else going on as the local police do side jobs in that same area in their spare time and don't want anyone taking their jobs from them. The detective that sent for him does not like my son (this is the truth) and he is going by my son having some trouble in his younger life in NJ. If he left without them knowing where he was then how did they know my address where to look for him at. they had my phone # XXXXX address. I guess I want to know what we can do from here without it costing an arm and a leg. My husband and I are on Social Security and cannot afford to help with money. This charge even hurt but if I could get some advisement in which direction to go that would be worth it to us. He is our help and provider since he came to live with us.
Expert:  JD replied 8 years ago.

His options are limited due to funds. Lawyers can be very expensive and if he is charged with a felony theft and also charged with failing to appear in court on that theft it can be a tough battle. I cannot provide you a magic formula that will help your son out of this predicament, but I would be happy to discuss with you the general things he needs to do while facing these charges.


Your son is being represented by an assistant public defender. These lawyers have dedicated their careers to representing indigent clients who are charged with crimes. I have known and worked with numerous assistant public defenders and I can tell you from personal experience that they are some of the most qualified and thoughtful attorneys who represent defendants in criminal court. However, they are grossly overworked.


Therefore the key for your son is to use his time with his lawyer effectively. You must understand that this attorney will not have time to return your calls immediately or respond to every written message they receive. Most public defenders are in court everyday and many cover more than one court. Your son's case will become a priority to them... but that will most likely happen on their schedule... not his.


I recommend that your son have another meeting with his attorney. I have no idea of what rules she is referring to... but she is governed by the EXACT same rules as a private attorney. The rules are not different... her paycheck simply comes from the taxpayers. The key here is communication. He needs to communicate with his attorney and work with her to build his most effective defense.


His attorney (even the public defender) will investigate the state's case, interview the witnesses, question the police, inspect any documents, examine all physical evidence and photos, research all applicable laws, make courtroom appearances on his behalf and discuss the matter with the prosecutor. Only after these steps are taken will she be in a good position to help your son and advise him on his best course of action.


Without knowing more about the details of the case, it is hard for me to comment further on what types of defenses or strategies he may wish to employ. However, these are all issues better left to his attorney who has experience and credibility in the court where he must appear.


Please reply if I can assist further.




JD and 3 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  JD replied 8 years ago.

I'm sorry you felt that my responses were worthy of negative feedback. I would have appreciated the opportunity to discuss further any questions or concerns you may have... particularly when you receive more information about your son's charges. I do not think the ACLU will help you.



Customer: replied 8 years ago.
You answered as much as you can I guess with the info that I have. I just know that my son is innocent of the charges and it seems like no one is willing to help. I know that the public defender has alot of cases but I thought that they were supposed to help. We have not heard from her in about 4 mo's or more. I do not call or fax anything to her anymore I gave up. She asked that we do but get no answers back ever. and she did tell my son that he would be better off with a lawyer from the outside. There has to be someone who takes pro bono cases or an agency that can assist people who do not have money and especially today no one has that kind of money to put out. I have not lived in NJ for over 29 yrs. but my son stayed there. He trusted his long time friend who turned out to be not a true friend. I thank you for the assistance you did give but I guess I did not understand this site before I joined it, Thanks again, Joanne in Arizona
Expert:  JD replied 8 years ago.

The pro bono agency you seek is the public defender's office. The reason they are overworked is because they are pro bono. Do not give up on communications with his lawyer. Letters and emails are often better than phone calls or faxes because they have a better chance of being received and comprehended. You may find that she responds better to your son than to you since he is her client. Responding to your clients is hard enough without also responding to their families... that may be one issue.


If he is absolutely dissatisfied with her service he can actually do one of two things. He can contact his lawyer's superior and lodge a complaint, or he can also file a motion to have new counsel appointed due to her lack of communication with him. His motion to the court need not be professionally drawn... he can do it himself. I recommend before taking either of these actions that he write his lawyer a letter and give her a couple of weeks to respond. If he hears nothing at that point, he can proceed to her superiors and proceed to file the motion with the court.


Judges and lawyers will pay attention to jailed clients who claim their attorney will not speak to them. The reason is that any conviction can be overturned if that lack of communication becomes tantamount to ineffective assistance of counsel. Ineffective assistance of counsel is a claim that many people lodge during what is called post conviction. It is something that judges and lawyers wish to avoid and therefore they will likely pay attention to him when he complains that he is receiving no communications.


Again... please reply if I can assist further.