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Hammer O'Justice
Hammer O'Justice, Criminal Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 4500
Experience:  Almost 12 years of legal experience, primarily in criminal law
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Hi! My boyfriend Tony, was recently arrested here in california

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Hi! My boyfriend Tony, was recently arrested here in california and charged with hs11377 he was on parole. He is currently out on bail and has already been cleared with the parole board. Tony had been driving a friends vehicle because he was doing repair work for him in exchange for the driving privliges. When Tony did not return his friends phone calls one weekend, the friend called police to come over to my house to see if Tony was there. Subsequently, they came and found him and searched the vehicle. They found a film cannister with a tiny amount of marijuana and even smaller amount, about .20 of meth in the same container. When he went to court the last time they offered him a deal of 16 months. He did not accept this and the public defender told him that was a good deal and he refused to continue fighting for him and the judge said the same thing. This is ridiculous because he has not done anything and it's only a good deal if you are not the one behind bars. He has another court date tomorrow and we do not know what to do at this point. Thank you for your assistance. Beverly Brown

Regardless of the lawyer's personal feelings about the plea, the public defender assigned to his case ultimately has to do what his client wants. If the PD feels that the plea is a good one, then he is ethically obligated to advocate for it. However, the decision about whether or not to accept a plea is solely the client's, and if the client rejects the plea, the attorney is obligated to represent him in a trial. Unfortunately, with the court date being tomorrow, there's not a lot he can do before then, but if he gets a chance, he may want to sit down with his current lawyer and speak with him about the case before court begins in order to make sure he will be fully representing him at trial and what his strategy is (ie making a motion to suppress the drugs, trying to find a witness that will corroborate that the car and drugs were not his, etc.). If not, he may want to ask if the PD's office will supply him with another attorney. In general, once the PD's office appoints an attorney, they will not substitute counsel, but sometimes when there is an insurmountable conflict, they may consider it. He can also inform the judge of the problem and see if the judge will intervene with the lawyer or the public defender's office on his behalf, but if it is the same judge that pressured him to take the plea, that may not have very much in the way of success. At the end of the day, if he can't get replacement counsel, his attorney is ethically obligated to try the case if he does not take the plea.
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