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Joseph, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 7280
Experience:  I have 15 years experience in criminal litigation including several years as a felony prosecutor
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My son (Keith XXXXX XXXXX) is in Durango Correctional facility

Resolved Question:

My son (Keith XXXXX XXXXX) is in Durango Correctional facility in Phoenix AZ. He is facing Felony DUI charges and was told he would have public defender representation. In nearly 70 days he has seen three different public defenders with no visits afterwards. He has now been told that the public defenders office is full and his case has been dropped and perhas he will have access to an advocate or pro bono attorney. He has heard nothing for weeks and has many questions. He can post bail but has been told that if he does his "time served" will be negated. He has attempted numerous times to find out if that is true and cannot get an answer. I have researched as much as I can, and I can't find an answer for him. My questions, as his mother (in Tennessee) are: 1: Isn't he entitled on a criminal case to have legal representation? and 2) if he does post bail, will the time he has already served waiting for court dates, etc., be negated.

Valerie Frazier-Hook
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 6 years ago.

I am sorry to hear of your son's difficulties. Public defenders (PD) are typically fine attorneys, unfortunately they are often overworked and underpaid. The net effect is oftentimes that the client has little contact with their PD.


As I suspect you know, both the United States Constitution and the individual constitutions of each state indicate that a person accused of a crime is entitled to legal representation. However, across the country the PD's offices are losing funding while gaining clients. In response, many individual PD offices are making decisions to refuse to accept certain cases. For example, I am aware of offices that are refusing all misdemeanor offenses or low level felony offenses. It is certainly possible that your son is a victim of just such a scenario.


You might consider calling the PD's office on Tuesday (as Monday is a legal holiday). You need to find out with certainty whether or not your son has been dropped by the PD's office. If he has been, you should consider retaining a private attorney.


First, you should begin with your state bar association. The Arizona State Bar has a website, it is located at


I do not know your county of residence but your county bar association likely has a similar site that will be more specific to your location.


Additionally, Martindale Hubbell is a national organization that rates attorneys across the country. Their website is located at


Another nationwide website is located at This site lists attorneys by geographic location and area of practice.


Additionally, there is quite likely a legal aid society in your area. A quick internet search and/or phone book search should locate the society closest to you.


Each of these resources will have a wealth of information as to attorneys in your area that handle such cases. I would suggest you check each site out and you will surely find a great number of attorneys that meet your son's needs. Pick a few to meet with in person so that you can thoroughly explain his situation and then retain the one that you feel can best represent his interests.


As to his credit, he has been getting credit for every day that he is in the county jail. If he is released, his credit time will be fixed. For example, if he posts bond on his 45th day, then he would have 45 days of credit. The potential benefit to staying in jail is that his credit continues to increase every day. At some point, his credit may make the case easier to resolve. What I mean by this is that, oftentimes, the prosecuting attorney may become more willing to reduce the charges or amend the offer simply because he has a lot of time in jail.



Also, several customers have asked how they may direct a question to me in particular. If you specifically want me to assist you in your legal matter, just put "FOR JOSEPH" in the subject line and I will gladly pick up the question as soon as I am on-line.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for the resources. I will pursue every one of them. I am in Blountville, TN (Sullivan County TN) and my son is incarcerated in Maricopa County, Phoenix, AZ. So, you can see that visiting anyone in person is out of the question. I do hope that I can accomplish something on his behalf by phone. Is that remotely possible?
Expert:  Joseph replied 6 years ago.

Absolutely. While it has always been my preference to meet with people face-to-face, I have been hired on many cases where we only spoke by phone. Simply use the resources I've provided, call the attorneys and discuss the situation over the phone.



Also, several customers have asked how they may direct a question to me in particular. If you specifically want me to assist you in your legal matter, just put "FOR JOSEPH" in the subject line and I will gladly pick up the question as soon as I am on-line.

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