What can I do if my public defender isn't fairly representing me?
February 18, 2012 8:19 PM Subscribe
I'm the defendant in a legal case and am being represented by a public defender. I feel I am not being represented fairly. My hearing is next week. What should I do?
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (12 answers total)
I am the defendant in a harassment case . I am unemployed and broke, so I had to opt for a public defender to represent me. I feel like I'm not being sufficiently represented and want to know what I can do about it. I'd like to avoid going to jail.
I understand that a public defender's office is probably overwhelmed, but this is getting a little ridiculous. My attorney hasn't shared much of the prosecutors' stuff with me and I haven't even been able to read the police reports of what they are alleging that I did. To top it off, these events transpired just before the holidays in November, and these two charges (in addition to the original one for which I was already arrested and jailed) were just recently presented to my and my attorney.
To make matters more complicated, the events of this case are among what my mental health providers are saying has all the signs of a manic episode. I have no history of being bipolar, but I do have a long history of depression. I was hospitalized for this around the same time.
At my last court appearance, when we were first presented with these additional charges, my attorney suggested that it would likely be best to have the case go through the mental health court here in Seattle. I agree with that idea since I know I would never in my right mind do something like what has been alleged. (I didn't hurt anyone. I didn't even harass anyone. I basically just inadvertently creeped my neighbor out.)
What can I do about this? I'm really at a loss. I'm fucked. For one, the court agreed to continue the case until March 9 and then I just got notices in the mail that I am to appear next Friday instead. I tried to contact my attorney and got an auto-responder back saying that she will be out of the office until the 27th.
What should I do?
[Happy to answer any follow-up questions.]