If you are not happy with your public defender, the only thing you can really do is retain a private attorney. Many offer payment plans. Good Luck.
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I agree with my colleague and would add that you might want to talk with family and friends for help in finding an attorney to retain, if that is what you choose to do. Good luck.
The defense attorney (and public defenders are defense attorneys) does not "offer a deal" -- the prosecutor does and the defense attorney presents the State's offer to the defendant for their consideration. Just because you change attorneys does not mean the prosecutor is going to change their evaluation of the case against you. Many times a more experienced defense attorney knows more about what the prosecutor is looking for to reduce the State's evaluation of punishment than less experienced attorney might, but once the prosecutor has a figure in mind, it is awfully hard to get them to come off that figure. You stated that this was a single count of drug possession but there are a wide variation of amounts that still constitute mere possession and some drugs are considered more "scary" to citizens in a community than others. Also, if the shoplifting was a felony shoplifting this would make your second felony conviction. Try to talk to your public defender and see if you all can determine why the prosecutor feels you should be imprisioned for five years -- it might even be based on the particular judge's parameters in the prosecutor's courtroom. In most of the courtrooms I frequent, the courts and prosecutors are non-pulsed, and sometimes ticked off, by the defendant claiming how many people are relying on them not going to jail -- their come-back is usually that the defendant put their family at risk by the defendant making the decision to break the law and the court is just following the law that gives them the authority to punish law-breakers.
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