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Grandson arrested with girlfriend for shoplifting at Target. Can we get a public defender?

Coppell, TX |

Judge set bond at 1500.00 and upped charge to felony. -First time offense. Mother has been laid off,starting new job Monday - they have no money for lawyer. How long does it take to settle this type of charge?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Have right to attorney. Public defender requires defendant to be indigent. Ask court.
    Are you sure the Court on its own motion raised the charges from a misdemeanor to a felony. That might , if true, be a violation of the separation of powers. DAs not courts charge violations.

    The above is not intended as legal advice. The response does not constitute the creation of an attorney client relationship as this forum does not provide for a confidential communication.


  2. First, the judge does not have the power to "up" a charge to a felony. The decision of what level offense to charge is up to the prosecutor, and for felonies ultimately is up to the grand jury in Texas criminal prosecution.

    A public defender? Most Texas communities do not have public defender offices and instead rely on the appointment of private practice attorneys to represent those who do not have the financial ability to hire a lawyer. If your grandson is an adult, that decision should be based on his resources and, if he is married, those of his spouse.

    There is no set time that a criminal case takes from beginning to end. Every case is different.

    Answers on Avvo are for general information purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. No attorney / client relationship is created by providing this answer. For specific advice about your situation, you should consult a competent attorney of your choosing.


  3. I agree with the other attorneys that the court cannot change to charge to a felony. Your grandson will have to apply to the Court for a court apponted lawyer. How long the case will take depends on the court and the county where its filed. Consult with a lawyer who practices in that court fot that answer.

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