Ontario, OR asked in Uncategorized for Oregon

Q: Why is my husband being denied a lawyer?

My husband abscounded from parole 20 years ago because his life was in danger and the parole officer would do nothing. He moved to the next county and never got into trouble and turned self in and he is very sick. He was given a 60 day jail time for 1st sanction. They are having a hearing but when he asked for an attorney his PO said no. Oregon law ORS 135.050 says that he is intitled to a lawyer even a court appointed one. We are afraid he will not live to get out of jail as they cannot afford the medicene he needs.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Matthew Abts
Matthew Abts

A: Dear Questioner,

This is not my specialty area, so I'm only going to give you a general understanding of some legal basics. You should call the Oregon Star Bar modest means programs for a referral to an affordable attorney (link below).

Unfortunately there is a difference between probation and parole. Probation is when a judge decides that you can do something in lieu of going to jail, and signs an order telling you what your probation will be (often community service is involved). Parole is when you are released early from jail.

You can receive a probono attorney on a probation matter if you meet the financial qualifications. If the court decides you have enough money to pay for your own attorney, you will not be given one.

Here, it sounds like your husband was let out of jail early and then left the area. It's possible that he will now need to return to jail to serve out the remainder of his sentence. If this is parole and not probation, there is no right to a court-appointed attorney, regardless of your financial situation.

You can, however, retain an attorney. The Oregon State Bar has a "modest means" program with attorneys that have capped fees. You should apply for a referral to the program. http://www.osbar.org/public/ris/ris.html

The prison is REQUIRED to provide adequate medical care for your husband. You are going to need to fully document his health problems and needs. Your doctor should write out the required treatment and emphasize that it is critical he receive the proper medication.

I'm not familiar with the proper procedure for notifying your local jail of your medical needs. I recommend you call the Department of Corrections Health Services Division at 503-378-5593, and ask for the proper procedure for your local jail.

Take care,


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