Q: We live in CA. My 14 yr old son is charged with 2 felonies in IN. I am unemployed and broke. How do i get him a lawyer?
We have been summoned to appear at the initial hearing in IN re: the petition for delinquency. What steps do I take to get him represented by a lawyer?
A: If you and your son qualify, you may be entitled to a public defender. The Court will make that determination and assign one if appropriate. Another option might be if there is a free legal aid clinic. You can check with the local bar association and/or the clerk of the Court for phone numbers.
A: If he's charged with felonies, he's either an "automatic" because of an armed robbery or a murder . . or he was waived because he's been in so much trouble as a juvenile, the juvenile court is convinced there is nothing it can do for him.
At his first court appearance, he needs to advise the Court that he can't afford an attorney. The judge will ask some questions, and will either appoint counsel for him or not. Understand, if you post a substantial amount of bail for him [if it's one of the counties that allow you to post 10% cash], the Court MAY terminate the public defender and have you pay for private counsel. If this might happen, make it clear [if it is in fact true] that the money is YOURS as a loan and that you need it when it finally gets returned. This MIGHT convince the judge to keep the PD in the case.
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