Q: Hi...My son is 23 and has 2 felonies on his record. He recently was arrested for 5th degree drug possession.
Judge said that he recommends a lawyer present. He has a full-time job which he doesn't qualify for public attorney? Can we apply for public attorney? And what is he realistically looking at for the 5th degree issue,?
A: Of course he can apply for Public Defender representation. Most people with a full time job will not qualify, based on net income. But I believe some do, i.e. a minimum wage job holder who is paying high child support on five kids. It can't hurt to apply. A conviction for any felony drug crime can have a high cost in diminished annual income, due to loss of better job opportunities, for decades to come. Though "prison" is less common for a Minnesota 5th Degree Controlled Substance Crime conviction, significant "jail" time (of up to a year) is not uncommon -- especially with prior convictions. Also, if a new crime is committed while still on probation for a previous conviction, even more time in lock-up, may be at stake. Having a criminal defense attorney would be important for anyone facing those possibilities.
Tim Akpinar agrees with this answer
A: He can apply for a public defender, but that doesn't mean that one will be appointed. Regardless, he is charged with a felony and has two other felonies on his record. He needs representation. He could be facing jail time, a probationary sentence (perhaps a probation violation as well if he is still on probation), and other consequences. He should reach out to a criminal defense attorney in his area. An attorney can better address the specifics of his situation after a consultation.
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.