What should I do if I still don’t have a lawyer for second court appearance for a criminal charge?

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What should I do if I still don’t have a lawyer for second court appearance for a criminal charge?

I haven’t hired lawyer due to time and cost constraints but I make too much to get Legal Aid. It’s for possession of a controlled substance.

Asked on November 6, 2018 under Criminal Law, Alaska

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

First, be realistic: are you going to be able to afford a lawyer? You should hire one--make no mistake about that. A lawyer will maximize the odds of minimizing the charges and/or punishment you face. If you can afford one, even if it means borrowing from a friend or family and hire an attorney. If you can, then hire a lawyer, make sure you make the appointment/consultation even if it means missing work--take a sick or vacation day, or call out sick, etc. to lock in the time--and have the lawyer contact the court and request a further adjournment (delay) due to the lawyer just being hired and needing time to get up to speed on the case. The lawyer will know how to do this.
If you cannot at all afford a lawyer, and/or are simply unwilling to pay what it will cost, then you'll have to appear pro se (as your own atttorney) since don't qualify for Legal Aid.


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