How can I get my friend out of a detention center and get him a public defender that will help him out?

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How can I get my friend out of a detention center and get him a public defender that will help him out?

I have a friend that is in a detention center for a crime he did not commit and the bail is way to high for anyone to get him out. He has a public defender that has not even seen him once and I have no money to get him a lawyer. Is there anyway that I can get him a public defender that I know will help him.  He is being held in a detention center and I do not know why.

Asked on October 22, 2010 under Criminal Law, Maryland

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

He can request to have a new PD assigned to his case, but the court doesn't have to allow it.  There will need to be a hearing for" substitution" of his court appointed counsel.  That means that you can get a different public defender to represent you if you can convince the judge that this is necessary. 

To seek such a hearing he needs to write a letter to the judge, requesting a meeting regarding his counsel.  A copy should be sent to both the lawyer that he wants removed and the prosecutor.  He neds to make sure that both copies and the original (which goes to the judge) are sent certified mail; he also needs to keep a copy for himself. 

This letter should state that he wants to have his present attorney removed from the case and why.  He'll need to list all problems that he is having with his lawyer.  The letter should be kept short and to the point.  Be sure that it is truthful. He does not want to jeopardize his position before the judge by stretching the truth.

Additionally, he can contact legal aid and see if they would take his case; if not, ask if they know of an attorney that will volunteer to do it "pro bono" (for free).

 


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