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How do I defend myself, since my public defender won't and I can't afford any other attorney? (Orig. charge: Domestic battery)

Reno, NV |

to enter COD program, had to plead guilty to dist the peace. was told once I successfully completed program, charge would be taken off record. have a suspended sentence of 180 days, am on probation. 6 wks ago my parents came to court told judge I had been drinking. judge put alcohol monitoring anklet on me put me in halfway house. I understand anything my parents said was heresy/inadmissible in court, none of my tests have come back positive. 6 wks in halfway house I got kicked out. am homeless, without way to support myself, going to school. Last Wed, public defender said if I was kicked out of halfway house, city would have show cause hearing, could possibly end in suspended sentence being revoked. dont have any drug/alcohol charges. have weekly check in Wed, unsure how to defend myself

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Attorney answers 3


We are going to be unsure how to defend you as well. Hearsay is an out of court statement offered to prove the matter asserted, for example if I testified that you said you were kicked out of the halfway house. When your parents go to court and say "I have seen my son drinking in our home." that not only is not hearsay, its really damaging evidence that you are going to have a hard time getting a judge to believe is bunk. Now you are kicked out of the halfway house you were put into. Public defenders are not magicians. They did not create the situation you are in. You did. The fact that they can't get you out of it does not mean that they aren't good at what they do, it means your royally messed your case up by not doing what you should have been doing and/or doing what you should not have been doing. You need to explain the situation to your attorney and get their advice on how to proceed. You also need to accept responsibility for the actions you did to get you in this situation. Stop doing the things you are doing that are getting you into trouble. Listen to the advice of people who are trying to help you. If you don't like it, do what you want but be a man and accept responsibility for the bad outcomes of that if a bad outcome comes from it.



Unfotrunately, sir, I have done nothing wrong. I wasn't drinking, nor was I doing drugs. I'm not say my attorney is a bad one because he got me into this situation, I'm saying he's a bad attorney because he has not defended me or my best interests. I've been doing everything I've been supposed to do, with the exception of a couple missed PBT's and counseling sessions over a 7 month period and have accepted the sanctions (community service) and completed said sanctions within the required time guidelines. I'm not the only one who has missed things like this, however, I am seemingly the only one with these harsh consequenses. Several others in my program have consistently had dirty UA's, missed several PBT's within a month's span, and have been given, what, 30 hours community service? I've missed about 4 PBT's in 7 months, never dirty, never had a dirty UA, and I get an alcohol monitoring anklet and thrown into a halfway house. How is that equal treatment?


First thought upon reading your post was that you needed an attitude adjusment which includes learnin to take responsibility for your actions. NO ATTORNEY public defender or otherwise is going to get you out of this mess. As stated by Mr. Smith, your parent's observations are not hearsay. Nor is the record of your being evicted from a program the court sent you to.
One of the things I have learned after about 27 years defending the accused is that judges do noy take lightly a defendant's refusal to behave as instructed. Another is that a defendant who has parents appearing as yours apparently did, is in very serious trouble with the court.

The above is not intended as legal advice. The response does not constitute the creation of an attorney client relationship as this forum does not provide for a confidential communication.


I agree with my colleagues.

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