I cant afford a attorney and the court hasn't given me a defender how can I get counsel to help protect my rights.

Asked 2 months ago - Rancho Cucamonga, CA

I've been to court for arraignment and I go back in again on Jun 12th and I have no defense counsel and I am being charged with a felony 11377a which is ridiculous because I don't use drugs and passed a work related post accident drug test the week prior to me being arrested because of a accident which someone hit me. then the following week my manager forced me to empty out my locker which was shared with someone who I found out actually does use and ended up getting fired right before all of this because of a failed test. So someone claiming I was acting "strangely" called the police and they took all the papers from my pocket that I removed from my locker, I couldn't see because I was detained but they said that was were they found a folded up piece of paper with drugs in it

Additional information

To clarify the question is How can I get an attorney to represent me? Who can I contact if I cannot afford an attorney and the court has not appointed me someone?

Attorney answers (6)

  1. Greg Hagopian

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    Contributor Level 13

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    Answered . Call the local public defenders office and ask them. Some courts don't appoint a public defender until after the arraignment. You also might live in a county where a private defense attorney will appointed as a public defender for you. The local office will be able to give you a better answer than we can. All a private defense attorney can tell you is: 1. You aren't going to find lawyers who work for free outside of the public defenders office. 2. The court is legally required to appoint you an attorney if you are charged with a felony, and 3. Good Luck.

  2. Andrew Stephen Roberts

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    Answered . You have not asked any question. The court should appoint a public defender when you go back to court.

    ANDREW ROBERTS CRIMINAL AND TRAFFIC TICKET DEFENSE ATTORNEY
  3. Keith G Langer

    Contributor Level 19

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    Answered . You state no question.

    If you are indigent, the court will appoint counsel for you - that should have happened at arraignment. If you are not indigent, which is likely why counsel was not appointed, you will have to retain your own attorney. Contact the CA and county bar associations for referrals.

    The foregoing is for general information purposes and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
  4. Michael Kevin Cernyar

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    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . If it's true that you don't take drugs then it will be easy to prove. However, you need to act on it now because testing for drug usage is typically limited to the last six months. In regard to an attorney, many attorneys have payment plsns, including credit cards, monthly payments, etc. Call a few for a free consultation to determine which one best works for you. I wish you the best.

    The response above is not intended as legal advice since it’s impracticable to provide thorough, accurate advice... more
  5. Jay Scott Finnecy

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    Contributor Level 19

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    Answered . IF you appear in court without a private attorney, the court will have you complete a financial disclosure. IF you qualify for court-appointed counsel (public defender), then the judge will appoint an attorney to represent you. Your story is rather "fishy" and quite frankly reeks of methamphetamine. Get into treatment or at least some NA meetings and be sure to appear in court when ordered.

    San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney--19 years experience. Law Offices of Jay S. Finnecy
  6. David Allen Brooks

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    Contributor Level 14

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    Answered . You are employed, so the court may have a problem with appointing you an attorney. Most courts have income and expense firms to be filled out before a lawyer can appointed.
    The court may require you to try to hire a lawyer and then report back in your efforts.
    Being not guilty is different than needing a lawyer.

    The content on this Web site is intended for informational purposes only. No part of this site is intended to... more
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