What is the legal time limit a court must follow for a preliminary hearing?

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What is the legal time limit a court must follow for a preliminary hearing?

Our son has been in solitary for over 8 months with no preliminary hearing. His public defender will not take our phone calls and will not go talk to our son in jail. We can not get any information. He has not waived his rights to a speedy trial nor has he signed any continuance. If his attorney will not respond and we do not have the $30k to hire one, now what (county court, OK)?

Asked on September 10, 2011 under Criminal Law, Oklahoma

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Oh my goodness.  Let me clarify the situation: your son as already arraigned and bail was denied.  He now awaits a preliminary hearing before the court.  Are you sure that your son's attorney did not do something stupid like waive the preliminary hearing?  Which may be why he is stuck in jail so long?  Why was he denied bail at the arraignment? Answers to the questions that I have posed are important to know how to proceed in general.  But I think that at this point in time you need to make some noise, so to speak.  If the public defender is not responding to you or your calls go down and see his or her supervisor.  Go to every defendant rights organization - including legal aid - and ask to speak with someone about the matter to gain information.  Call you local bar association and law schools to see if they have pro bono (free) attorneys or legal clinics on prisoner's rights.  And in the end the media may always help.  Good luck.


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