Topic: Criminal Law
Q: Charged with sex offense. My “lawyer” is threatening to withdraw his appearance 2 months before trial. I hired my lawyer because I was accused of some serious child molestation charges which could put me in jail. I was never arrested and only knew about the official charges from my lawyer. I received ROR bonded at arraignment he showed up a preliminary hearing and told me he was unprepared and to waive downtown only to charge me $750. He agreed to take the case on payment plan but now wants $5000 this week and $2500 ten days before trial (which for me is impossible). Now he is threatening to withdraw in 3 days. He already entered his appearance only because his wife emailed me and told me I didn’t need a lawyer for my formal arraignment and the judge threatened to withdraw my bond. Now my question is what can I do as far as hiring a court appointed, and how much of a disadvantage am i know? What can i do? (Pittsburgh, PA)
A: It sounds like you need a new lawyer. Whatever you do, do not wait until the last minute. Judge’s are lenient in granting continuances when defendants obtain a new lawyer. If you cannot afford private counsel, get documentation of your income together and apply for a lawyer with the PD in room 400 of the County Office Building. You can talk to your PD, have him represent you and at the same time raise money for private counsel if things are not progressing with the PD as you like the closer you get to trial.
CRIMINAL LAW, COURT APPOINTED LAWYER, PUBLIC DEFENDER,