Skip to main content

Pro Bono - PD is not doing all that he can! Where can I find pro bono? PD & DA have secret deals to get the "accused" convicted

Los Angeles, CA |

My brother Jose is currently at Men's Central Jail for robbery, but
he claims that this time around was because the lives of his wife and children were threatened by a guy who knew what he had been in for before.
(I find it a little hard to believe because I would have gone to the police and moved my family. My brother said that the guy threatened "to kill his family")
I just got off the phone with my mother who visited him this past Sunday.
My mother mentioned to me that Jose is facing 225 yrs if he is convicted of these crimes.
It has also been said that the D.A. also knows about the guy who, allegedly, threatened Jose, but, also, did not want to look into thse allegations.
I feel that there may be some kind of deal between D.A. and the defender....?

+ Read More

Attorney answers 4

Best Answer
Posted

I'm sorry I didn't get back to you I have been swamped. And I am sorry no one has taken your question seriously and actually provide you some information to work with. True, threat to life is not really relevant to Robbery. And it does not make any sense at all that your brother would be facing 225 years just for Robbery. So there is some miscommunication going on here somewhere.

Ill give my standard speech about the Public Defender's office. They have some very good lawyers and some bad ones. The same can be said of private attorney's and D.A's. The reason people often become frustrated with the Public Defender's Office is there is a lack of continuity that starts out at the beginning of the case. To them your brother is a file. And it's one of hundreds they have to deal with. Typically the file will go through several different PD's until it gets to the person actually trying the case. Due to their caseload it is very hard for them to give much time to each case and very rarely give any comfort or information to families. I think they fail terribly at this but there is a reason for it.

We, as private attorneys value the recommendations of our clients and their families because this is our business. Public Defenders really could care less because they get paid win lose or draw. And many of them forget their clients and the families are real people. The biggest difference between a PD and a private attorney is that you are paying for our time. And that includes time spent out of court, talking to the client, the family, etc. If more PD's did this there would be less people like you who see what's going on in court, are not informed about what's happening, and see that their loved one is not getting any information.

The truth is the PD's really don't have alot of time to spend with their clients. And some have become lazy and jaded. But at the higher levels, they are just as good if not better in trial than many of us. If the PD took the time to explain to your brother and you how the courts work and why things are happening the way they are these kinds of accusations, which I hear alot, would not happen.

No matter what you think of the PD you should encourage your brother NOT to go Pro Per. That's suicide. Unfortunately a good defense in a felony case does cost money. Money buys time and resources, things the PD does not have. I hope that helps.

Asker

Posted

I really appreciate you. Thank you. The problem is they do not want to investigate...I was told that he has his witnesses, too. I feel like we are at an impasse. From here, I do not know what to do. We cannot afford a private lawyer. I guess all that I can do is write and tell him to request another PD.. Thank you! (:

Brian Russell Michaels

Brian Russell Michaels

Posted

They dont have the resources. Its not a dont want to do it, its they dont have the ability. Unfortunately with the PD you get what you pay for. Nothing.

Posted

There is little if any pro bono criminal defense services available because the Public Defender's office handles the cases of those who cannot afford private defense counsel. The kind of conspiracy that you are concerned about is so unlikely as to be the stuff of bad movies and TV shows. The sheer size of the offices of the District Attorney and Public Defender make it untenable for there to exist any successful conspiracy between the offices. Too many people would need to be in on the secret.

Trust that Jose's assigned public defender will advise him that the "I was threatened by a guy..." defense is unlikely to be successful, and leave his PD alone to work with Jose to develop a defense that better serves Jose's needs. If he is truly facing 225 years, there is very likely to be some very high-quality defense services provided. And necessarily so.

Reading this post reminded me that Deputy P.D.'s are truly unsung heroes of criminal defense practice.

My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.

Posted

I do not find "robbery" to be a likely response to being threatened .... that simply makes very little sense. As a former prosecutor, it always amazes me how many people seem to think that the DA and PD engage in conspiracies to "get" people. The PD and DA's office are made up of people who spent a lot of time an effort to get a legal education and otherwise make themselves prepared to practice law. Why would they want to risk there careers and liberty by conspiring to get people?

If Jose is facing 225 years and he is unhappy with his free lawyer he can certainly hire a lawyer of his own choice and he should do so ASAP.

Posted

Why is it that for the defendant facing 225 years it is always the Public Defender's fault? The attorney did not put your brother where he is; he did. The proposed necessity or duress defense does not have the ring of truth to it and does not account for the possible length of sentence. There is more here than appears in the question (it is a good thing that all of the facts were not brought out), but you and your brother should stand back and let the appointed attorney do his/her best work.

Although I am an experienced CA criminal defense and appeals attorney, I can not 'guarantee' that my answer is entirely accurate, since I have not reviewed all of the factual circumstances of the case, nor have I discussed those circumstances fully with the questioner. The fact that I have answered this question does not establish an attorney client relationship between the questioner and my self or my office.

Asker

Posted

Thank you for your comment, but as an "attorney" your first statement is ignorant, in my opinion. No where did I state that the defendant facing any kind of time is the PD's fault. In your experience, are the defendant who feel incompatible with their current PD allowed to request a new Pd? Please and thank you.

James H. Dippery Jr

James H. Dippery Jr

Posted

Yes, a defendant can always request a Marsden hearing if dissatisfied with appointed counsel.  These motions are seldom granted, however, and a 'belief' that the attorney is scheming with the DA to get people convicted will not be a successful approach. > > >

Christine C McCall

Christine C McCall

Posted

Mr. Dippery, as for your original response: BRILLIANTLY SAID. And necessarily, too.

Asker

Posted

Awesome. Thank you so much Mr Dippery Jr! I understand. I guess I have seen way too many movies! lol Have a great day! (by the way, that would never be a reason spoken of in court! lol)

Asker

Posted

Another thing, may you please explain exactly what this Marsden hearing entails or what it is all about? What will the possible outcomes may be?

Asker

Posted

If I may explain a little more, I understand and I am aware that the way that my original post reads is very ridiculous. I was informed by my mother that my brother also has witnesses as to him receiving phone calls then having to leave, his wife wondering why he kept calling her all of the time to find out if the girls and her were ok...(they were split up at this time) There are a couple of other people involved to where if they were to be asked to correct questions, my brother may be freed(or not). I don't know...Thank you for your responses. I truly appreciate them.

James H. Dippery Jr

James H. Dippery Jr

Posted

Briefly, Marsden is a method of attempting to persuade the court to relieve an appointed attorney and replace with another appointed attorney.  The grounds are many and varied, but basically require a showing that either the appointed attorney is not providing adequate counsel, or that there has been an irremediable breakdown in communications between the attorney and client.  The hearing is confidential, no one present other than the client, attorney, Judge and necessary court staff.  The DA can not be present. The client will be asked to explain to the Judge what the problem is, then the attorney will be asked to respond.  Even though I do not know the appointed attorney, or the total circumstances of the disagreement, I feel comfortable in saying that the attorney will not take it personally, or hold it against the client, if a Marsden motion is made.  It happens;  and often, it helps bring the client and attorney closer together, on the same page. > > >

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer