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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 33109
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I had court on March 28,2018. I am being accused of Theft by

Customer Question

I had court on March 28,2018. I am being accused of Theft by deception. I have an early disposition conference that is scheduled tomorrow for March 19,2018. I was supposed to obtain an attorney on March 6,2018 but I was not able to get one. Will they just have a public defender with me. During the early disposition conference? What will happen? I am still pleading not guilty. Am I going to jail already tomorrow what happens? Since I didn’t obtain an attorney what will happen to me?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 8 months ago.

Hi,

I'm Zoey.

I've reviewed your post. Please be patient as I may need to research for you, and it also takes time to compose and type a reply.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 8 months ago.

If you were told to retain counsel and you did not ask for a public defender back on your court date when you first pled not guilty, you will not have one assigned to you when you walk into court tomorrow.

As long as you show up for your court date, there would be no reason for the court to put you in jail, however, you can expect that you won't have a lawyer. You can show up and ask the judge for a continuance and tell him you did not have the time to retain an attorney. He should give you another date to return with counsel.

Public defenders are only for people who are too poor to afford a lawyer. Typically, they are people at poverty level or below without homes, credit or assets. If that's the category you fall under or if you have money but it's all tied up in a divorce or in bankruptcy proceedings, or you are a full-time student, you would likely qualify for a free lawyer, and you can ask the judge for one tomorrow.

If, however, you are gainfully employed and make a reasonable living, if you ask for a public defender, the judge will likely turn you down. One way of being able to retain counsel in a hurry when, as here, you have no possibility of reaching a lawyer today for a court date tomorrow, is to simply fiind one in court tomorrow. Get there early and watch the lawyers already there handling other cases. If one impresses you, approach him and ask whether he is interested in taking on your case as well. If he is, you can retain him then and there.

But no, even without a lawyer, there would be no reason for you to go to jail tomorrow unless the state offered you a plea with a jail sentence and you accepted it. And there would be no reason at all for you to do that tomorrow when you've yet to have consulted with a lawyer.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I was qualified to get a public defender on the date of February 28 but i thought I would obtain one by March 6 but it was April 6. What am I supposed to expect tomorrow? What’s is an early disposition conference. What do I expect am I given another date where there is Court. Is the person who had accused me of this will be there tomorrow? I just sign in tomorrow and when I call in my name I just go by myself?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Also sorry for all the questions I had paid for thorough answers. Tomorrow it’s at 9:00 am but the court opens at 8:30am do I have enough time to ask for a public defender
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 8 months ago.

I was qualified to get a public defender on the date of February 28 but i thought I would obtain one by March 6 but it was April 6.

If you asked for a public defender on March 6, there's a good chance one will be there tomorrow. If you didn't, you will have no representation. If you have no lawyer make it clear to the judge that you need a public defender. You can ask him for a continuance.

What am I supposed to expect tomorrow? What’s is an early disposition conference.

An early disposition conference it just that. It's a court date where the lawyers for both sides determine whether this case is going to be a trial case or whether a plea offer is possible. The lawyers will negotiate a plea offer which would be conveyed to you. You are not required to take the plea tomorrow. What you wiill do is to ask for a continuance since you do not have your public defender yet. You are constitutionally entitled to have a lawyer at these proceedings and the judge should adjourn this for a new date.

What do I expect am I given another date where there is Court.

You can expect to have your lawyer, and he will take it from there. He will do what couldn't be done on the date where you were not represented, which would be to discuss the case with you and then convey any offer the prosecutor wants to make you and counsel you about that so you can make a decision on how you want to proceed.

Is the person who had accused me of this will be there tomorrow?

No. The prosecutor will be there representing his interest. You'll only see your accuser in court if your case goes to trial, since he will have to testify against you at that time.

I just sign in tomorrow and when I call in my name I just go by myself?

Yes.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
On February 28, I had said I would be able to obtain an attorney on March 6,2018 but I had mixed it with April 6,2018. I have my assets tied in with my parents who are dealing with another case in order to get our money. When I was speaking, they said I was approved for a public defense attorney, but I had denied because I thought I would obtain a lawyer. Since I do not have a lawyer or a public defender, will I have to plea again not guilty or usually during EDC there is a second date given again after this or a decision is already made.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 8 months ago.

If you are asked to plead not guilty again, you'd plead not guilty. But basically, you tell the court you need a public defender after all and you ask for a continuance. They can hold the conference when you have a lawyer.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
When I attend tomorrow at 8:30 is it like the first appearance at court. Will it be in court or in a room. Will I get scolded that I did not obtain an attorney. Will they usually accept a continuance?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 8 months ago.

When I attend tomorrow at 8:30 is it like the first appearance at court.

It's a plea conference.

Will it be in court or in a room.

It will take place in court.

Will I get scolded that I did not obtain an attorney.

They won't be thrilled at the waste of time. However, if you can't afford an attorney after all, you are entitled to a public defender and they will provide you with one. If they cannot do it tomorrow, you'll get your continuance.

Will they usually accept a continuance?

Yes. You have a constitutional right to an attorney.

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