My question involves criminal law for the state of: PA
I am accused of a crime. I applied for and got a PD. The night before magistrates araignment he called and said he recommended he ask for a reduction of charges and I plea to a lesser charge and "just pay a fine of about $100.00". I said I was not guilty and did not want to do that. He said it would be easier if I did that. I said "why should I pay $100 when I'm not guilty"? Why should it cost me money? He said think it over.
The next day at the magistrate's he asked again about taking a plea and I said I would not. Turns out the prosecutor would not hear of a plea so that made my decision mute.
The PD did not show up for my hearing in county court. I had no contact with him since I left the magistrate's hearing a few months before. The judge asked if I had an attorney and I said I thought so but he wasn't there. The judge said I guess you plead not guilty and I said yes. That was that.
I saw on the court's internet site that I had a hearing 2/3/11. I was not contacted to tell me of this so on Friday 1/28/11 I called his office. I left a mesage with a secretary. He did not call back. On Sunday 1/27 my neighbor who is moving to another state and is not spending much time here came home and found a letter for me from the PD office telling me of the hearing. My notice was sent to the wrong address.
The internet said status conference, the letter said disposal hearing. I called the PD office and the secretary said she'd send my PD an email.
I didn't hear from him. I showed up at the courthouse on 2/3. He was on one side of a railing and I was in the spectator seats. He did not make any attempt to make contact with me. I was not able to go up to him and speak to him. After about 3 hours or so my name was finally called. I approached the judge as did the D.A. and my PD. No sooner than we stopped in front of the judge the PD says "trial". The DA was asked how long of a trial he thinks it would be and t DA said 2 days with a questioning voice. The PD said with a shrug, "yes, maybe" so the judge said we'll say 2 - 2 1/2 days. Any other motioons etc?
The PD said he asked for discovery and thinks it's in but hasn't had time to pick it up yet. Judge says she'll give him 15 days to do so and will go from there.
I this what I should expect as my defense? I'm thinking he's ticked because I refused to take a plea (if it was offered). I have not spoken to him since 10/06/2010! How can I tell him about my defense if I only had a few minutes one day in October before the magistrate's hearing to speak with him?
I feel that he will not represent me and do his best. I've been on a number of juries and I know the PD doesn;t do a great job. In fact, one asked what we as jurors thought of his performance and a bunch of us agreed to speak with him. We said there were so many questions he should of asked the defendant but didn't and if he did it would have made our job easier. He did a poor job and thanked us for our honesty.
I am disabled and after Medicare Part B and D deductions I get $524.00 and have to buy many prescriptkions and doctor co-pays. I can't afford my own attorney. I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Please give me advice on what to do in this situation.
Thank you very much.