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I can't get the public defender assigned to my dui case to return my calls to postpone my case for 3 weeks. What can I do?

Van Nuys, CA |

I had my preliminary with one PD, and she told me my hearing would be with another PD. I got that person's name, and have left many messages to talk about my case, but most important, I need to postpone it from Aug 15th to after September 3rd. My grandmother has dementia and cannot be left alone, and my mother is out of town until Sept. 3rd. What can I do to take care of this matter, please. Thank you.

Thank you for answering. It is a misdemeanor. My mistake. My first court date was an arraignment. The private attorney route seems out of my financial range, as I've found, after calling a few.

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Attorney answers 3


If you do not hear back from the PD at this point, you may not hear back from him or her by telephone. At this point, you may want to consider hiring a private attorney to represent you on this matter. If your case is a misdemeanor, a privately retained attorney could make the court appearance without your presence. "Preliminary hearings" are generally for Felonies though. The first hearing for a misdemeanor is called the "arraignment". Are you charged with a misdemeanor or a felony? Feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss your case in more detail.


My colleague and friend, Mr. Hache is correct. You need the assistance of an attorney. The Public Defender may never return your call as they are over-loaded. A private attorney can appear for you without your having to attend court. Call if you have any questions.

Andrew Roberts
(818) 597-0633

Legal disclaimer: You can learn more about me by clicking on my Avvo profile. Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice. It is merely intended to provide general information to aid the poster in finding answers to the problem posed. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. In most cases, it is best to contact an attorney directly to find answers to your problems.


I think you got confused with what your first court date was. That is called an arraignment. Preliminary hearings are only reserved for felonies, not misdemeanors. It also seems correct in that one public defender handles the arraignment and then you are assigned another deputy public defender. Some public defender offices do not appear for clients via California Penal Code 977. That means the lawyer can appear for you without you being present, but you have to get the lawyer's consent to do that first. You may want to call the public defender's supervisor to see if you can get a response. The public defenders are generally overwhelmed. You will have some good public defenders. I hope they can appear for you and continue or delay your case. I understand you don't have funds for an attorney. Try contacting the supervisor since this is an important matter. You don't want a warrant out for your arrest.

This communication does not create an attorney-client relationship. This means that I am not your lawyer and I will not appear in court simply by posting on this site. If you would like me to represent you, you must call my office, sign a written fee agreement and pay a legal fee, assuming I do not have a conflict of interest and you are in Southern California. If I respond to your question and you have follow up questions by posting on this site, I may or may not reply. This information should not be construed as legal advice. I am offering my opinion. Each person's case is unique, and that's why you should contact a lawyer over the phone for a consultation for your situation. That's why you should not rely on any response that an attorney posts on this site. I am licensed in California. I am not licensed in another state or country. I do not practice law outside of California.

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