You can try some of the legal aid organizations/clinics in this area. However, be advised that public defender agencies exist for a reason, so you're not going to find someone to give you free representation when there already exists an agency devoted exactly to that. If something isn't working out with that particular public defender, your boyfriend can ask the court to appoint a different one, but generally there must be a very good reason for asking.
The system that you are talking about is the court appointed or public defender. You need to understand that maybe a PD is busy, however they are very good attorneys, knows the Judges and prosecutors in your area the best and will do a great job on your case. The question is whether you are comfortable with your attorney. You need to trust and believe in your attorney so you will either need to ask for an appointed attorney or hire a private criminal defense attorney. Those are your choices.
Your friend's public defender may have been in another courtroom at that time. An emergency may have come up. Who knows. He needs to write a letter to his attorney and talk about his concerns. If you or someone your friend knows, perhaps his family, is willing to pool money together to hire an attorney, then you could contact the Seattle Bar for referrals. Some attorneys take credit cards or payment plans. But please don't assume his publicly paid attorney (the Public Defender) is not doing his or her job. Public Defenders have more criminal law experience than many private attorneys who take on all sorts of cases. What I have found with my clients is that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Just have him write and write (legal mail in jail is free) and write to his attorney. A lot of an attorneys work is done outside of court, and the client cannot see and appreciate all the legal research, phone calls, etc. an attorney does from his or her office. Good luck to your friend!
Unless and until we sign an agreement for legal services, I am not your attorney. Contact me at 509-951-2514 or email@example.com for a free consultation. The information contained in this answer is not intended as legal advice applicable to your case or situation, as I don't represent you or know your facts.
Unless your case is a high profile one, you will have a difficult time getting a good lawyer for free. The old saying goes, nothing good comes for free. Actually, there are some good things that are free, but they're not common. Generally, THERE'S NO FREE LUNCH. If you just think about it, attorneys have spent probably hundreds of thousands of dollars to go to law school, to get training, to work their tail off, to risk themselves for their clients, all to pursue justice, freedom, and/or compensation for others. Why would a good lawyer spend his time on a case for free? You may have to ask and find out, if there is such a thing as a "free" lawyer. It's as if you're looking for a job and the employer asks you to work for free for 6 months and then he tells you to "let's see how it goes", all the while, the employer is expecting you to work hard and "do a good job" for free. No siree-bob. Public Defenders in my opinion are very very good attorneys -- it's just that they don't have the time. Time. This is precious. PD's may not have the time to equally attend to 200 cases in one day as does a private attorney does with 2 cases (or even 1 case) in one day.
If you want a free lawyer, that's what you'll get: A FREE LAWYER. That is, a free lawyer giving free services. This is deep but simple. Just think about it.
Ma'am, after having revealed this brutal truth to you, there ARE attorneys who give their time for free. Pro Bono attorneys. Also, attorneys will give their time at a reduced rate. This is probably what you may be looking for: A REDUCED RATE ATTORNEY.
Once again, you want to ask yourself, "Do I want a good attorney to provide the best result possible for my boyfriend?". If so, see answer below.
Answer: Hire an attorney. A good one, at that.
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