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How long should someone in jail have to wait to see a court appointed attorney?

Thomaston, GA |

my father was arrested on charges that he was involved in (or even the head of) a forgery ring in Atlanta, GA. I'm almost certain that he was falsely accused, but mostly i'm concerned because he has been incarcerated for a week and has not yet been allowed to speak to a court appointed attorney and no one is telling him anything. How long should he have to wait? isn't there a statute of limitations on that? like 72 hours?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. In NJ, and the other States with which I am familiar, the scheduling of a meeting between a defendant and his lawyer is not not something covered by Court rule or an SOL. Try calling his lawyer, ask when the lawyer expects to be able to visit with your father. Most lawyers and public defenders have regular visitation hours that they try to keep when they are not on trial. Good luck.

    DISCLAIMER I do not practice law in your State. This answer is provided solely for informational purposes only. This answer does not constitute legal advice, create an attorney-client relationship, or constitute attorney advertising.


  2. Unlike the first answer, I did not get the impression your father actually has an attorney yet. If he has not done so already, your father should contact the local public defender's office to get evaluated for assistance. If you father does not qualify, then he needs to ask the court to appoint an attorney as soon as possible. Perhaps, a letter to the court would be in order if he is not scheduled to be in court anytime soon.

    Although you could contact the local public defender's office on your father's behalf, they will almost certainly tell you that your father must contact them directly.

    The 72-hour time limit applies only if bail has not been set in your father's case. In many WI jurisdictions, a judge or court commissioner will set the maximum cash bail in the case within hours of the person's arrest. This gives them time to hold the person until they are ready to charge him. Sad, but true!

    Good luck!

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