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I have court tomorrow, no representation. Court of Common Pleas in PA.

Reading, PA |

I know everyone would suggest representation, I'm 100% aware. The attorney that represented me in district court gave me a flat rate of $750.00 - when I requested a trial by peers he said due to the circumstances it would be $2,000 and I could not afford it, that was 2 weeks ago. I was expecting the funds I paid to go towards another lawyer and have not received it yet. I contacted the public defenders office Friday, didn't get a call back. Again Monday, got a voicemail from them at 2:51PM saying they close at 3:00PM due to the holidays. Obviously they were closed today for Christmas. My hearing is tomorrow. What are the chances I will get a continuance based on lack of representation. I don't want to rep. myself at all. Thanks everyone.

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

I'm not sure what stage of the proceedings you're at in Common Pleas Court in Reading, but if it is a first listing pretrial conference tomorrow, you will likely get another pretrial conference date. A lot depends on the stage of your case. If you are at a trial stage, things could be different. Good luck.

║ Anthony Gil, Esq. ║ (215) 840-4704 ║ agil@thegilgroup.net ║ www.thegilgroup.net ║ The answers I provide are not considered legal advice as this forum does not create an attorney client relationship. The short questions in this forum do not allow for full and competent legal advice. I advise you get an attorney in any case where you have contact with the legal system. Feel free to contact me via my website http://www.thegilgroup.net if you would like to have a consultation.

Asker

Posted

I'm not sure either, it's a traffic citation that carries jail time. I went to district court, lost and my lawyer at the time appealed it. Tomorrow is the first time walking into the court house (aside from district court of course)

Asker

Posted

Since it carries jail time the original "Traffic" citation has now been converted to "criminal" but it's still a traffic infraction. Driving without a license.

Anthony Gil

Anthony Gil

Posted

I agree with my fellow attorneys. Since it can carry jail time, you may be entitled to a public defender depending on your income and asset status. In my experience, judges will generally not make you go forward on a first listing. Politely inform the court about your planned representation and request a continuance.

Asker

Posted

Based on all of the input, which I appreciate to no end, I will be going early and presenting that exact request. Merry Christmas and thank!

Posted

Got to court, be early. Ask to speak to the prosecutor and/or the judge and politely, humbly tell them that you are indigent and request that a public defender be appointed if you qualify.

I am trying to give you a general answer to your question. We do not have an attorney-client relationship by this response on the avvo website. I have not been retained to represent you. I am licensed to practice law in Kentucky and in federal court in this state and the Southern District of Indiana. You need to seek legal advice from an attorney licensed to practice in your area..

Asker

Posted

Assuming I qualify, in your opinion do you think they will grant me a continuance to get my court appointed defender up to date on details of the case or do they really expect (court is at 9:45, I can arrive at 8:00) that I have time to brief this public defendant on my details enough for him to adequately defend me.

Frank Mascagni III

Frank Mascagni III

Posted

The problem is, you cannot be appointed a PD UNTIL the judge has determined that you are indigent and appoints a PD. Most judges will allow a reassignment if the court appoints you a PD tomorrow, unless the case has been on the docket several times and it appears you are delaying it for some unacceptable reason.

Asker

Posted

Understandable, this is the first time in front of a judge (aside from district). Thank you

Posted

I think the court will be in a holiday spirit and grant you a continuance. The court cannot force you to have the case go forward without an attorney.

Asker

Posted

Tis the season! I sure hope they are humble and not angry they have to appear the day after Christmas. Thanks!

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