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My Sister Needs Representation, But Has No Avenues? Criminal Trials, Hearings

Discussion in 'Criminal Procedure, Criminal Court' started by myndsplyntur, Jun 7, 2008.

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  1. myndsplyntur

    myndsplyntur Law Topic Starter New Member

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    My sister is in quite a bit of a mess.

    Basically, it boils down to her ex-boyfriend, which has been harassing her and my mother non-stop, managed to get an order of protection filed against her. He cut himself and told the police she did it. The order of protection states that she must live in a halfway house and attend NA meetings for a year. She has no problem going to the NA meetings, except that he is there stalking her. But she doesn't want to go to a halfway house. For the last few months she has been working and living in a safe, secure place. If she goes to a halfway house he will be able to get to her.

    She needs legal representation to fight this order of protection. However, her ex is already represented by the public defenders office, and legal aid, and she has been told that they cannot represent her because of conflict of interest? This part I do not understand. She has also called the local law school and the students there will only represent cases regarding housing issues. She works at Subway so it's not like she has a lot of money, and all of our family lives paycheck to paycheck so we cannot offer any monetary assistance to pay for a good lawyer.

    Doesn't the court legally have to provide her with options for legal representation? Are there any other avenues we can pursue for her to get a lawyer?
     
  2. CdwJava

    CdwJava Moderator

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    An attorney must be provided if she is charged with a criminal act. A restraining order (an order of protection where you are, apparently) is not a criminal act. She has to either defend herself or hire her own attorney.

    - Carl
     
  3. doubleuppro

    doubleuppro New Member

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    Also, in addition to what CdwJava said, if he is already represented by the PD's office, then once the Court appoints an attorney, it will be a private attorney woking pro-bono, which is free. My advice would be to have her go to a woman's center/shelter, and seek assistance. I mean nothing sexist in saying that sometime, women help their own, Iv'e seen women get help with free legal representation when they cry foul. Use your imagination....
     
  4. CdwJava

    CdwJava Moderator

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    Actually, most court-appointed attorneys are paid a contract rate by the state (the court) and are not working pro bono. In most states, a defendent will be asked to pay some small cost for the attorney ... not sure if all states do that, though.

    - carl
     

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