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RobertJDFL, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 13507
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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My son is 23 years old. He is being charge with two

Customer Question

my son is 23 years old. He is being charge with two different cases. First one he was at an event and an altercation broke out between two groups, which have been automatically considered gangs. One guy shoot someone and turned his self in.they are holding my son and five others on gang paticipation without evidence. i came up with money to hire a lawyer for gang participation and maming by mob. when they arrested him he had 2 joints on him and charged him with that. while in jail they served him with disorderly conduct with no exact date of this happening. he went to court on the disorderly conduct and the 2 joints and asked for a public defender and the judge said because we hired a private lawyer on the other cases she would not allow him to have a public defender. he is an adult and has lost his jobs behind this so he has no income. can she do this?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 9 months ago.

Thank you for using Just Answer. I am a licensed attorney and look forward to helping you. I am reviewing your question and will reply back shortly.

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 9 months ago.

Thank you for your patience.

Unfortunately, they can. The reality is that the public defender's office is generally overworked with far more people requesting services than available lawyers, resulting in huge caseloads. It's meant for people who are indigent. Therefore, if there is an appearance that a person has money and ability to have outside counsel, yes, a judge can deny a public defender. However, if he continues to make his court appearances and continues to assert that he cannot afford an attorney, eventually the judge will have him submit a new application to the public defenders' office.

Under the Supreme Court case Gideon v. Wainright, a person has the right to be represented in criminal proceedings. If the judge won't appoint an attorney at the next hearing date, your son needs to tell him you have a Constitutional right to an attorney and that he cannot afford one. He can inform the court that he has lost his job and has no money. The judge has the right to make him pay something towards the appointment to the court (there's usually a fee for using a public defender though it's much less than a private lawyer).

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 9 months ago.

Was there anything I could clarify for you or additional information you needed? If so, kindly REPLY and I'm happy to help further! If not, please kindly remember to leave a positive rating for me by clicking on the stars at the top of the page. Attorneys on Just Answer are not employees of this site, and are not paid until you leave a positive rating for our time and assistance. Thank you.