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LawTalk, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 37855
Experience:  30 years legal experience
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My public defender dont want to do nothing for me, he wants

Customer Question

My public defender don't want to do nothing for me, he wants to talk to me half-hour before the trial set for 12 Aug 10. The charge is 2C:35-10A(4) which i pleaded not guilty to; and moved to suppress the evidence on grounds of illegal search. I know he could request to downgrade to loitering charge so i don't lose my driving license. He could also request to downgrade to 2C:35-10c – failure to make lawful disposition of controlled dangerous substance. This would avoid a loss of my D.L. I also have a witness that is terrified to help me because she fears retaliation by the Roselle Park, NJ PD where the trial is scheduled to be heard. Isn't my public defender supposed to offer me the best defense possible? He claims "lack of resources" to explain his appalling lack of interest or support whatsoever. Other lawyers have advised me NOT to talk to him again until the day of the trial.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 7 years ago.
Good morning,

I'm sorry to hear of your dilemma.

The underfunding of the public defender's office is precisely the reason why you want to retain private legal counsel to help you with your case. Your attorney may be burdened with 100 cases or more and the reality is that you will not get the service from the PD's office that you will from private counsel.

Look at it this way. You have been charged with a crime. It is sort of like being diagnosed with a deadly disease. If you don't find a way to afford to have the best doctors around treat you---and you rely on the free clinic at the end of the street instead---well, things might not go so well for you. The same premise applies to criminal legal problems. It's not that one lawyer is necessarily better than the other (though many private, criminal defense attorneys grew up professionally in the trenches of the public defender's office)---it boils down to how much time they can devote to your case.

Instead of just asserting why you can't afford a private attorney---get out there and beg or borrow from friends and relatives---sell your car, your stereo, your other possessions---but do what you must to afford your own attorney.

I wish you well.

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