Kihei, HI asked in Criminal Law for Hawaii

Q: Can a defendant have a public defender and a private attorney on record at the same time after sentencing?

Defendant was sentenced to consecutive terms on 3 counts, (5 years, 5 years and 1 year). Motion to Reconsider denied. Public Defender was unresponsive for more than 2 years, family retained private counsel. Both defense counsel's filed "Stipulations,15 days apart. Information provided to Defendant confirms the filing of Stipulation by Public Defender; however, it is not any of the Defendant's "Document List" for (5) criminal case, while private counsel is on 4 of 5 lists. Private counsel charged, $5,000, plus $500 for "other" expenses, family paid him, $6,000. Public defender has confirmed notice of stipulation given to the Hawaii Paroling Authority; private counsel has not. Also, contract terms with Defendant provided 2 phases: and constructed in a way that the highest priority issue would come second and double the cost of service to defendant. To-date, public defender has not withdrawn. Finally, defendant signed a plea agreement for 5 years, got balance of parole (8-9) + 11.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Barry Lloyd Sooalo
Barry Lloyd Sooalo
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Honolulu, HI
  • Licensed in Hawaii

A: Short answer: yes. This can occur. The defendant would have to be indigent to have a PD. Private counsel would be there as a volunteer or pro bono and both counsel would have to consent to the dual counsel arrangement, as well as the client. Not an ideal way to proceed, but under that scenario, described herein, yes, a defendant could end up being represented by both the PD and private counsel.

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