Q: I'm trying to get information on how to obtain an attorney on a pro bono basis?
My nephew is currently being held in the Wyoming County Jail on a ridiculous amount of charges. Neither him, nor my family feel as though his Public Defender is looking out for what's in his best interest, and would like to look into gaining a second opinion regarding his current legal issues.
A: Most criminal defense attorneys do not do work on a pro bono basis. Many have surprisingly reasonable rates. Contact a few and see if you can find someone to work with. Alternatively, have your son sit down with his Public Defender and ask questions. A common complaint that I get from people who were represented by the Public Defender is that they didnt understand why certain decisions were made. The first question I always ask them is did they ask? Almost always the answer is no. An attorney is supposed to be working for you and you should take an active part in your representation. That requires more work with public defenders who are almost always understaffed but they have a great understanding of the law and judges. Remember pick the route, they drive the bus.
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