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  1. #1

    Default Federal Public Defender Won't Call Back - It's Been Months

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: California / Federal

    Hello, I learned I was subject of a federal investigation many months ago. I was getting harassed daily by the secret service because they wanted me to make calls to a huge company and record them.

    They have told me that they want to indict me based on wire fraud yet still wanted me to agree to give them a ton of information.

    I asked the Federal Public Defenders office to appoint someone to help me and after I signed a financial affidavit I was assigned a federal defender. They said he would be contacting me shortly. After a couple of weeks of no contact, I called the federal defenders office again and they gave me his information.

    I called him and after a few calls was able to get him on the phone. He listened to me for about 10 minutes and told me that he would find out who the AUSA was and find out what was going on. That was the last time I've talked to him for more than 10 seconds in the last 2 months.

    If I am able to get him on the phone he always tells me he is on the way out of the office and he'll call back later this afternoon or tomorrow or just "later" but he has never once actually called me back.

    I generally try to give him a few days or a week before I call him back but now I've tried dozens of times to get ahold of him both in email and on the phone and I still don't know if he's even contacted the AUSA yet.

    Am I being unreasonable here? I know public defenders are really busy people, but I have severe clinical depression and I have lost over 30 pounds since the Agents started calling me. I'm literally at the end of my rope and the person who is supposed to help me won't even talk to me.


    I am innocent of the charges against me (I honestly don't even know what I did that is supposed to be illegal, I paid for all the equipment I bought up front) and I have been told that I can "help myself out" before being indicted by giving information on this other huge company that they are interested in, but I don't want to just surrender that type of info without the guidance of an attorney.

    I can't just go visit the attorney because apparently the case is out of California and they assigned me a person in Los Angeles but I live in Chicago.

    I'm really worried about making too much of a fuss because this public defender might be my only hope but I also can't move forward because I can't actually get any information from him.

    Does anyone have any advice?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Key West, FL
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    Default Re: Federal Public Defender Won't Call Back - It's Been Months

    First, unless you have actually been charged with a federal crime, you have no right to a federal public defender. Someone is trying to be nice to you but the attorney knows you are NOT his client and he has no obligation to you.

    Wire fraud and mail fraud are the two great catch-all charges. When they really have no case they trot out one or both of those. Conspiracy is another one but you can't do that on your own generally.

    If you have not been charged with anything and the feds want you to give them information or use you as an informant, that means they have no case against you. As you have not been charged they don't have to tell you your rights and you have no right to an attorney. Lying to a federal agent is a criminal offense, so you do NOT want to talk to them at all as they can easily twist anything you say. Insist any communication from them be in writing and that their activities are harrassment and should cease.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    CT & IL
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    5,273

    Default Re: Federal Public Defender Won't Call Back - It's Been Months

    you can write a letter ... other than that, your case is likely to complicated for this board

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Behind a Desk
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    98,846

    Default Re: Federal Public Defender Won't Call Back - It's Been Months

    We touched on this in your other thread. You have indicated that no case has been formally initiated against you and that no court has appointed the federal defender's office to represent you. That would suggest that any service they offer is voluntary, and that you're not part of the lawyer's official case load. If you have facts to add that will shed additional light on things, share them. You can try talking to your defender's supervisor.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Federal Public Defender Won't Call Back - It's Been Months

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
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    We touched on this in your other thread. You have indicated that no case has been formally initiated against you and that no court has appointed the federal defender's office to represent you. That would suggest that any service they offer is voluntary, and that you're not part of the lawyer's official case load. If you have facts to add that will shed additional light on things, share them. You can try talking to your defender's supervisor.
    After I was admitted to the emergency room (heart problems from the stress/exhaustion) I called the federal defenders office in California (central) and said that I was continuing to get calls from the Agents asking me to give them a lot of information but that I didn't want to do so without an attorneys guidance. They approached the AUSA and asked if he would mind if they represented me. He confirmed that I was a target in a wire fraud case and said that he didn't mind at all.

    They had me fill out a financial affidavit (CJA form?) and apparently presented it to a judge who assigned me a public defender. As far as I know, this public defender has been assigned to me for my case.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    38,867

    Default Re: Federal Public Defender Won't Call Back - It's Been Months

    not real sure what you are after. If you don't want to talk to the SS guys, tell them to go away.

    As to the defense attorney not speaking with you; there is nothing to defend you from at the moment. He is not your counselor which is what you appear to be seeking from him. His job is to defend you should you be charged with a crime. You haven't been charged yet.

    and if you can't get this attorney to call you back, hire your own.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Federal Public Defender Won't Call Back - It's Been Months

    Quote Quoting jk
    View Post
    not real sure what you are after. If you don't want to talk to the SS guys, tell them to go away.

    As to the defense attorney not speaking with you; there is nothing to defend you from at the moment. He is not your counselor which is what you appear to be seeking from him. His job is to defend you should you be charged with a crime. You haven't been charged yet.

    and if you can't get this attorney to call you back, hire your own.
    Apparently he is being paid by the Federal Public Defenders office to represent me. The agents have asked for my cooperation in return for some undetermined benefit. They have said that I will be indicted unless I help them with the information they are looking for and possibly will indict despite my cooperation.

    I believe I need an attorney to negotiate whatever exchange the SS are referring to and the Federal Defenders office has agreed and appointed someone. I'm not looking for a "counselor" but I think that if a public defender is appointed by a judge then that defender should at least engage me on some level.

    I cannot afford an attorney though I have approached several. The lowest price I can find is $50,000 up front. Apparently full access to our justice system is only for the wealthy. Imagine that.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Key West, FL
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    Default Re: Federal Public Defender Won't Call Back - It's Been Months

    At this point, who cares?

    If you are charged, you can have an attorney appointed.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    1,419

    Default Re: Federal Public Defender Won't Call Back - It's Been Months

    It's like if the police keep on inquiring about a crime and they're is a chance for charges to be filed,you hire an attorney. Lets say for example it en voles giving up a drug dealer,the lawyer should do something they are being paid for,it's no different if a PD is assigned to you. Many times lawyers don't answer calls or take forever. Why not just tell the cops for all their inquires to contact your lawyer and give them his card. They will probably contact him to have a sit down with u for some information, if they never call him then let it be. If they ask to speak to u again,just direct them to your lawyer. If the agents don't call the lawyer they probably don't want to arrange a deal w. u or just might be trying get u to slip up. It's stressful but just don't tell them anything w. out a lawyer. If charges are filed and you are arrested then just wait for a lawyer,he will definitely show up then.

    Basically keep quiet and direct the cops to speak to your lawyer about anything. Make it clear you will keep mute unless counsel is with u. If the cops call the lawyer they will probably get hold of you to discuss the next move.

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