I was arrested on adrug charge, what can I do if I can’t afford an attorney?

UPDATED: Jul 16, 2010

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I was arrested on adrug charge, what can I do if I can’t afford an attorney?

I was searched at home with search warrant. The police found 1/4 ounce speed, scale. I was arrested on Friday night. Will I be released. I can’t afford bail or attorney. Can I get legal help other than public defender if I am low income? It is my 1st offence or arrest of any kind. I sold due to loss of income (unemployment ran out). I get section 8 and need to not have a drug offence. That will take more than a public defender.

Asked on July 16, 2010 under Criminal Law, California


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Your right to counsel is one that is guaranteed by the 6th Amendment to the United States Constitution.  Each state has established various ways in which they fulfill the requirement.  In New York it is the Legal Aid Society and 18B Panels but there are just as many local neighborhood legal services that can help as well.  They are often present in the courtrooms during arraignments (the time when a person accused of a crime is brought before the Judge to enter his or her plea of guilty or not guilty and the bail issue is addressed).  Many attorneys that are on these types of panels for appointment have worked elsewhere for many years and are quite competent.  Do not give them short shrift.  And if your appointed attorney is not giving you the defense you think that you deserve then you can ask for a different one.  Have some faith.  Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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