If You Can’t Afford A Criminal Defense Attorney, Ask For Jail Or Prison Time
March 26, 2019
Disclaimer: This article is in response to questions frequently asked of Mr. Cobb and is an unedited dictation transcript. Just like talk to text on your smartphone, there may be misspelled words or sentence fragments.
Florida Criminal Defense Attorneys are a dime a dozen. The problem is, they are often so hungry and desperate for business that they cut corners without disclosing that their reduced fees and budget friendly payment plan cases exclude much of the work a criminal defendant might need in order to have charges reduced, dismissed or even have a more favorable sentencing.
As the economy gets softer in 2019, this problem is only going to get worse, according to Fort Walton Beach Criminal Defense Attorney Stephen G. Cobb.
“Many criminal defense lawyers are having problems attracting enough good, paying clients so they are doing two things which are very dangerous: Many are taking just about anything that comes in the door and they are not putting enough thought time into their criminal case caseload,” Cobb said.
“Here’s the Bust Test,” Cobb explained, “ask them for a discount. If you get it, don’t hire them.” Attorney Cobb went on to explain that “a Florida criminal defense attorney who cannot stand up for themselves when set-ting a fee with a prospective client can’t stand up for them against a tough prosecutor.”
For many people charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, this lack of time and attention has a bigger impact than they realize.
In January, news of Public Defender caseloads in Louisiana brought yet another round of criticism and condemnation. The New York Times broke a story about the workloads of Louisiana Assistant Public Defender and Florida lawyers were not exactly crowing about the benefits of the having a Florida criminal defense attorney appointed by the Florida Office of the Public Defender.
During a chance encounter on Okaloosa Island with local criminal defense attorney Sherry I. Jones, co-founding partner with Florida Criminal Defense Legal Group, PLLC, Jones summed the situation up succinctly: “It’s no better here.”
When pressed about what “here” meant, Jones was blunt: “My partner and I both came from the Public Defender’s Office and left because we were having serious challenges providing a defense for our clients. You can’t cram the work of five people into one work week”
A Monday at the Fort Walton Beach Courthouse Annex displayed the inability of the lawyers to keep up with the overwhelming caseload. Over one hundred cases were assigned to assistant public defenders who never stopped moving as person after person was appointed a defense lawyer for crimes ranging from DUI to domestic violence.
“It’s always like this,” said one courtroom observer as a man from the local Ocean City community was shocked with an unexpected jail sentence for a first offense. “People have lost faith in court appointed lawyers.”
The victim of courthouse surprise probably had come to the same conclusion: When asked if he wanted a court appointed lawyer before entering his plea of no contest, the Ocean City man summed it up neatly: “Won’t do any good.”
He was sentenced to sixty days in jail
For more information on Affording A Criminal Defense Attorney In FL, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling 850-423-0035 today.