If he cannot afford an attorney then he should ask for the Public Defender. It depends on the complexity of the case, the court docket, and how frequent the county conducts jury trials and the judge's tolerance for continuances. I've handled battery cases which take 9 months to go to trial. If delay is your primary goal and not putting together a viable defense, be upfront with your attorney. Also, just because the maximum penalty may be 3 years, it doesn't mean he has to do any jail time. The offense is probationable. The sentence, if he pleads or is found guilty, takes into a variety of factors, including his criminal history, his employment, dependents, etc. If he isn't employed, he better get a job quickly. The judge will be more inclined to believe it is necessary to have in on probation to allow him to financially support his unborn child if he is productive and earning an income. If he simply sits around without a job and you are forced to collect public aid, then there isn't much incentive to not have him sit in jail.
This response is being provided for information purposes only and does not constitute an attorney client relationship. Furthermore, I am only licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois. While there are oftentimes similarities between States' laws, there can also be large differences. You should not rely on this response as legal advice and are highly encouraged to speak to an attorney licensed in your State for an accurate legal answer.
If your boyfriend cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for him. Although his case may take quite some time, the fact that he is soon to be a father will not be a basis for dragging out the case.
He needs to ask for a public defender.
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A defendant has a right to an attorney. If the defendant informs the judge that he needs additional time to interview prospective attorneys the judge should allow a continuance. How long this process takes and how long a judge will allow it to go on is the question.
An experienced criminal defense lawyer will need time to review the case and properly advise the defendant.
Hopefully, although not relevant to the case, the time used to properly prepare the defense case will allow your boyfriend to experience the birth.
Of course, every answer is based on the question asked and requires a more complete context. This answer should not be relied upon to make a legal decision. Seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney before acting. Law Offices of Raymond G. Wigell, Ltd. Defenders of the Constitution since 1975/ Aggressive Creative Defense Strategies/ Website: www.waaltd.com 24/7 --(708) 481-4800.