Asked in Criminal Law and Federal Crimes for California

Q: My lawyer passed away in the middle of negotiations. Paid attorney VS court appointed. How do I get the money back?

I have a have federal Narcotics case, and I am being charged with uncharged conduct instead of the narcotics in my car. My lawyer passed away in Jan. A day befor the plea deal And I am out of money as I paid her 15,000. Is there anyway the courts can pay for my attorney instead of getting a court appointed one. We are butting heads and it seems as if he thinks whats done is done and not fighting for my freedom. I have no criminal background I was lied to and tricked at the border. I do NOT want to do time as I have 4 children ranging from 5mths- 17 years old. I'm at a total loss and just need guidance on where to turn for help. I can't afford 30,000 in attorneys

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1 Lawyer Answer
Joseph Abrams
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Santa Ana, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: The court will only pay for court-appointed attorneys, which include either a public defender or a private panel attorney. Also, there are some excellent private criminal attorneys who will work pro bono or at reduced rates in cases like yours. They can be hard to find but they're out there. Good luck.

- Law Office of Joseph Abrams, Federal Criminal Defense, Anaheim, CA


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