Is it a violation of an inmate’s rights if they never received a form to apply for a public defender?

UPDATED: Jan 15, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Jan 15, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Is it a violation of an inmate’s rights if they never received a form to apply for a public defender?

My brother was arrested on charges for terroristic threats to his ex-wife. He is now in prison. I spoke with his pre-trial director to find out that there was never an application for a public defender given to him. Now he has to wait until his hearing in March because apparently his paperwork was lost. He doesn’t have a criminal record and he and his ex-wife made an agreement outside of court. Township police are forcing her not to drop her criminal compliant since they have already filed charges. Is there something we can do about this?

Asked on January 15, 2011 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania


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

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

What you may have to do is to hire a private attorney for your brother.  From the way that you have written this question it certainly does appear that his Sixth Amendment right to have an attorney appointed on his behalf have been violated and it appears that your ex sister in law is in some way being coerced in to maintaining the criminal complaint.  Perhaps she should speak with an attorney as well here on her options in this matter.  Other than hiring a private attorney you can possibly go and seek help directly from legal aid and see if they can do anything at this stage of the game.  Good luck to you.

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 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption