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Is their help other than the public defender for no or low income people facing criminal charges?

Riverside, CA |

I'm on out on bail, have a previous STRIKE for a PC.245a from 2004. and currently being charged with discharging a firearm in an occupied dwelling (a STRIKE) and criminal threats (a Strike). D.A. is pushing a strike nickle prior as well. My exposure is 34 years. My P.D. is filing no motions to strike my STRIKE or anything.

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Attorney answers 4


Under the sixth amendment indigent persons charged with crimes are entitled to free appointed counsel. Indigent defendants are not entitled to the appointed counsel of their choice. All defendants are entitled to retain the attorney of their choosing but obviously if you have no money your only choice will be counsel appointed by the court. Therefore assuming you have no money to retain an attorney of your choice, you are stuck with the riverside public defender. The only other possibility for getting another appointed attorney is by firing your public defender which occurs through a Marsden hearing. Simply tell your attorney and the court that you want to fire your attorney. There will be a closed hearing (no DA or members of the public) and the court will ask you to explain why you want another attorney. The public defender will respond to the court's inquiries. If the court finds there is a total breakdown in communication or ineffective assistance of counsel, the court will appoint another attorney. I must say that the riverside public defender's office is quite good and you should think twice before considering firing your attorney. First of all you will likely fail in your Marsden hearing which will create more animus in the attorney-client relationship and even if you win, you're not necessarily going to get a better attorney or a better deal. As an aside, if you are listening to "jailhouse" attorneys, you are certainly not being well served. Best of luck.


You have a conviction from 2004 for a 245(a)(1). That carries a potential sentence of 2,3 or 4 years at 1/2 time. Its worth another 5 for any new violent or serious felony with in 10 years of your release form custody. In addition, it doubles the term of any new felony.
Penal code sect. 422 [criminl threats] carries a sentence of 16, 2, or 3 years. Doubled max is 6 years
The fire arm discharge I believ is actuall 246 and is shooting at a residence with a potential of 3,5 or seven doubled for the strike. Assuminfg a these are all sparate charges and could be sentenced consecutively, the max is 14 for shooting at the house plus 1/3 the mid term [2 yrs =24 mos. X 1/3 = 8 ] doubled on the 422 = 1yr 6 mos plus the nickle 5 total 20 yrs and 4 mos. . If expoure id 34 yrs, you have left something out.
As to not filing a motion to strike the "strike" [Romero] , I would not file one either. You are not a person that the court would agree falls outside the intent of three strikes because there is not enough time between the new offenses which are also at least serious and the old offense.
Your attorney, no matter how good, cannot change facts or the law.

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.


Can't change the facts or change the law. Any Romero motion would be denied.


The prior attorneys have said it all. I also do not file motions that have little or no success of winning. Many of my clients take the approach of "throw anything at the wall and see what sticks". Unfortunately, some attorneys take that approach and get a reputation of filing dubious motions. Then when they have a meritorious motion or one that is close and could go either way, the judges might be less inclined to grant. The Supreme Court has made it clear that trial courts should not be willy nilly granting Romero motions but only under certain circumstances. Otherwise they will get reversed by the appeals court and no judge wants to get reversed by a higher court.

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