The prison counselor does not have the ability to deny a defendant a public defender. If he submitted the application the York Public Defender's office will review it and determine if they or conflict counsel will represent him. If he has applied for a public defender and qualifies, the courts will make sure that he has an attorney when he appears in court.
He absolutely has a right to counsel. The typical procedure in York County is for the defendant to complete the application and if a conflict is noted then he will be assigned to a court-appointed attorney. The PD's office (ultimately with judical approval) decides whether a conflict exists, not the prison counselor.
I would advise you to call the PD's office again and let them know what is going on so they can look into it. They used to have two inmate coordinators stationed at the prison to conduct inmate interviews and process applications. They'll be able to figure things out pretty quickly.
I have never heard of anything like that before but that is a serious problem
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The prison counselor is not the one who determines conflicts that would be handled by the PD's office, he certainly has a right to counsel.
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If he keeps this up, call the warden and simultaneously write to him explaining the situation. The hire ups in the jail may understand the right to counsel. You should also keep communications with the PD and see if they can assist your family member in drafting a motion to appoint counsel and getting it before the judge.
That's ridiculous. The right to counsel is not like cell phone minutes that can be used up by other members of the family.
You said he inquired with his counselor. If he already has a lawyer, then his right to a public defender is moot.
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