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Pd attorney $2000 retainer for DUI - controlled substance - he didn't show up at arraignment -hasn't filed entry of appearance.

Allentown, PA |

Don't know what to do at this point. I understand he could have waived the arraignment. Of all that we discussed at intial meeting, he has done almost nothing on my case. Controlled substance was legitimate prescription drug taken due to chronic illness. I have no more money to retain another attorney. Was refused ARD and there is a status conference scheduled for August. His paralegal says he will be conferring with the DA prior to conference. He won't talk to me directly. Right now feels like I don't have any representation. Please advise.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

Unfortunately the system is not very fast. It is not uncommon for things to happen the way you described. Once your attorney gets all the discovery he should be in a much better position to talk with you about possible defenses and what your options are. I on the other hand feel that communication between attorney and client throughout this whole process is very important so hopefully you will get to talk with him soon whether he has discovery or not. I hope things work out for you.

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Asker

Posted

Thank you for stating that communication between attorney & client is important. Good communication can prevent a lot of misunderstanding.

Posted

That is more or less how the system works. Until he has discovery, there is nothing to discuss anyway — remember, in criminal court, everything happens IN COURT. And your PTC is in August — the DA hasn't even given much thought to your case.

So relax — there is tremendous time for this all to sort itself out. Remember that the process is very, very slow, and that you are just at the beginning.

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Posted

So you are saying my attorney is justified in not showing up at the arraignment and not informing me that he knew ARD was refused? The DA was encouraging me to sign paperwork & plead guilty to all counts knowing my attorney had not shown up. Not keeping a client reasonably informed, not showing up for an arraignment he specifically said he'd attend, and not filing an entry of appearance is "how the system works"? That's why I retained an attorney - so that I would not have to face a hearing alone with no defense.

Charles Thomas Jr.

Charles Thomas Jr.

Posted

Not saying he was justified, because "justified" implies an action outside the norm. It just is what it is. He my not have known about ARD, because (and especially in Lehigh), that decision may not have been made until the day before you were set for arraignment. Why? Because nothing happens before arraignment (I would go one step further and say nothing happens AT arraignment either, but that is another matter entirely). If you are dissatisfied, fire him. Ask for your money back. But don't blame the lawyer — look at what his "mistakes" (which they're not) cost you — nothing. You still haven't been convicted of anything, you haven't given up any rights, and you still have the chance to get out of this.

Asker

Posted

Your answer is arrogant and does not address the fact that I am not being kept informed. According to his paralegal, he was aware that ARD had been rejected and did not pass that information on to me. Again, if he did not intend to show up for arraignment (which he specifically said he would), I should have been informed of that and given some guidance as to what occurs during arraignment. In my reply, I never stated that the attorney had made "mistakes", you used those words in your reply.

Posted

I agree with my colleagues regarding the procedure but I do think that the attorney should pick up the phone and speak with you. If your stuck with him I can't say what to do other than to make sure all your questions are answered before you make an decisions regarding your case.

This information does not create an attorney /client relationship and should not be use or relied upon to make any decision in your case. Only consultation with your own attorney can provide you with the advice you need for your case.

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Posted

Thank you for the advice.... good communication is essential and can prevent misunderstanding.

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