Q: At my second arraignment, can I ask for a court appointed lawyer if I was not offered one at the first arraignment?
I wasn't offered a lawyer because I don't face any jail time, but I would like to speak with one to discuss details about my case that may get it dropped.
A: The right to have a court-appointed lawyer only applies if you are facing jail time. You could hire a lawyer but the court won't appoint a lawyer in a case you don't face the risk of jail. There may be certain exceptions, such as if there are immigration consequences if you were convicted. If that applies to your case you should let the Judge know. There Amy be a defense lawyer for the day present that you can ask to talk with next time you are in court.
William T. Bly agrees with this answer
A: I'm not sure why you're having a second arraignment as you should only be arraigned once. The purpose of an arraignment is to be apprised of the nature of the charges by the court, at which time you enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. If you're not facing a risk of jail (the DA indicates at the arraignment if there is a risk of jail in your case), you are not constitutionally entitled to a court appointed attorney. In order to qualify for a court appointed attorney, you must meet certain criteria, which includes financial criteria AND the fact that you're facing a risk of jail, which you're not in your case. With all of that said, you can ask to speak with the Lawyer of the Day (LOD), who is there solely to assist members of the public during the arraignment proceedings, and ask that he speak with the DA on your behalf. Perhaps the LOD can get the charges dropped. If not, you'll have to either represent yourself at future court proceedings or retain an attorney.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.