It does seem like a conflict because one attorney is representing two people in the same case. The defendants can waive the conflict and allow such dual representation and this might have happened. Did it?
Whether your boyfriend should be offered the same deal as the other defendant is very difficult to answer without reading the police report and knowing the criminal history of your boyfriend and his co-defendant.
As to getting free legal services, tell you boyfriend to ask the judge for an alternate public defender.
Unless there was a waiver to conflict free counsel, then an attorney should not be representing both defendant in the same case.
As to being offered the same deal, this does not always occur, as each defendant has their own set of circumstances. For example, one may have a prior prison term that increases punishment, one may have other types of priors that enhance sentencing, one may be on probation, there are just too many variables.
It sounds strange. You and your boyfriend need to raise the conflict issue with his current counsel and if necessary, your boyfriend may need to raise it with the judge. As far as getting the same deal, that depends on many factors that only his attorney knows about.
Generally Public Defender office have a system to check conflicts. Either they missed it or had waiver. You need to bring this to the attention of PD.
Usually, they run a conflict check and if a true conflict is there, they will give it to the alternate public defender or to indigent criminal defense appointments (bar panel). If the lawyer stays on the case, I would obtain a private lawyer or ask for APD or BP because there are too many things that could go wrong, even with a conflict waiver. LAW OFFICES OF VICTORIA CLEMANS (310) 803-9111.
This is a general statement regarding law and facts and should not be construed as an attorney-client relationship or a solicitation for same.
I agree with counsel, this should be brought up to the attention of the District Attorney and Public Defender Chiefs for that county. The PD may have gained information that is working against your BF because of his biases.
My name is Stephen R. Cohen and have practiced since 1974. I practice in Los Angeles and Orange County, CA. These answers do not create an attorney client relationship. My answers may offend I believe in telling the truth, I use common sense as well as the law. Other state's laws may differ.. There are a lot of really good attorneys on this site, I will do limited appearances which are preparation of court documents it is , less expensive. However generally I believe an attorney is better than none.