Minneapolis, MN asked in Criminal Law for Minnesota

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,?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Thomas C Gallagher
Thomas C Gallagher
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Licensed in Minnesota

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

Jonathan Matthew Holson
Jonathan Matthew Holson
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Rogers, MN
  • Licensed in Minnesota

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.

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