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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27715
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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my son was arrested for shop lifting..... hes 18, so we did

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my son was arrested for shop lifting..... he's 18, so we did not go to his first appearance... however, he told the judge that he was going to hire an attorney. He has no job or money..... how do we get a public defender appointed "after" the fact?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 years ago.
Hello Jacustomer,

Public defenders can't just take a case. They must be assigned to one by the court. So when your son shows up on his nest court date he has to let the judge know that he cannot afford to hire an attorney after all and ask the judge to appoint him a public defender. I should warn you that even though he is 18, if he is living at home, there are some judges who will tell a teenage defendant to have his parents hire one. Most times, however, if he tells the judge he's a student and he's not employed and has been unable to come up with the money, he should get his lawyer.
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