As a former public defender in Florida, I recommend you contact your public defender immediately and rerequest your discovery. I can assure you public defenders would rather have clients, who are interested and involved in their cases, as opposed to clients, who show up to court every thirty days without any idea what is going on with the case or a plan for the charges.
Just let your public defender know you are very concerned about the charges and would like the opportunity to review the discovery, generally they are more than happy to work through the discovery with you.
Good luck with your situation.
This answer does not, nor is it intended to, create an attorney-client relationship or constitute attorney advertising. Rather, it is offered solely for informational purposes. The facts of each case are different and unique, it is critical to consult with qualified counsel with whom information can be shared and assessed under attorney-client privilege, so that competent and quality advice can be obtained on which you can make informed decisions
You do have a right to discovery and you should be persistent on obtaining it. I recently left the OC Public Defender's office (not sure if your case is in OC) and I can give a little insight on how that office operates. If this was your first court appearance, your case was handled by a calendar public defender, someone who is in that same courtroom everyday, handling the entire felony calendar with usually only 1 other person. The office requires the public defender to redact all personal information from any named witnesses before they can give it to you. Handing it over "as-is" is considered a misdemeanor for the lawyer so they are legally obligated to redact it. If this was the first request you made, they didn't have time to stop handling all the other felony matters, walk back to the office that is located across the street from the court, copy the report, redact the information, then recopy the redacted report and go back to court to hand it to you. In addition, the attorney you dealt with might not even be your assigned public defender for purposes for the first phase of the process - the preliminary hearing.
What I suggest you do is call the main number (714) 834-2144 and ask who your assigned attorney is. Call that person and tell them you want your copy and when you will be by to pick it up. Otherwise, you need to retain a private attorney and he or she can get you the discovery and most likely, give you more attention than the public defender is able to provide. If your case goes beyond the prelim stage, you will then get assigned a felony panel public defender, a more experienced one who will do your trial. The trial lawyer is not a "calendar PD" and would definitely be able to give you more individualized attention. Hope this helps.
You have the right to see your discovery once it is provided by the prosecutor to your criminal defense attorney. It will be provided to you. Contact the PD office and leave your name and current contact information. Leave a message for your appointed counsel and set up an in-person meeting to receive and review the discovery. I agree with the 2 posts already posted in response to your question. The criminal justice system sometimes moves slowly. Learn patience, it's a long road ahead.
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..
That is the main problem with the PD! They are so busy and most often just don't have time. You should think about talking to an attorney about your case and see what they can do for you.
I know many public defenders who are very good attorneys, however, they have tremendous case loads and often do not have time to give great service to their clients. My office is in Fullerton which is very close to you and I would be happy to discuss this matter with you.
Sorry to say this but...that's why they are PUBLIC defenders.. they are there for the PUBLIC at large.
Unlike PRIVATE attorneys, we are there exclusively for your benefit.
This seems to have been someone swamped with not enough time to attend to your needs. For that type of VIP attention, you need to hire your own personal, private attorney.
In addition, you have priors; your '96 conviction will come up so you really should invest in someone who can help you.
Best of luck.
Attorney Ghatan has been licensed to practice since 2001. She practices criminal defense and personal injury in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura and San Bernardino counties. For a free legal consulation, please call toll-free 888-704-9777. **Please be advised: the information presented in the above forum is not intended, nor should it be construed , as any form of legal advice for any specific matter. In addition, there is no attorney-client relationship created as a result of a posted response to a query.**