QUESTION

How do I handle a situation where my son is in need of legal help for matters happening inside a correctional institution?

Asked on Jul 30th, 2012 on Criminal Law - Louisiana
More details to this question:
My son has been serving time in a correctional institution. He was picked up on a charge and taken to local sheriff’s office for fingerprinting. I am not sure what the charge is. Another inmate’s mother called me last night and informed me it was a drug contraband charge and that my son feared for his life because the person that introduced the drug into the prison was a guard and if he tries to defend himself he will be railroaded. I am unemployed and I am looking for an attorney to work with me on payments or a pro bono attorney that is willing to help us.
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21 ANSWERS
Answered on Jun 28th, 2013 at 10:23 PM
Get the public defender in the county where he is incarcerated.

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Answered on Jun 28th, 2013 at 10:18 PM
Many members of the National Lawyers Guild would be eager to assist your son under these circumstances.

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Answered on Aug 08th, 2012 at 11:55 AM
You have a tough situation. However, the process is the same as if your son was outside the system. That is to hire a defense attorney who has sufficient experience to handle such a situation. Your financial situation will certainly complicate this. You may try calling a Bar Association and seeking an ACLU type lawyer.

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Michael J. Breczinski
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Answered on Aug 08th, 2012 at 11:34 AM
If they are charging him with a new criminal offense rather than a violation within the prison, then he will get an appointed attorney.

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Answered on Aug 07th, 2012 at 11:01 PM
You can try to locate and contact a prisoner rights organization through the internet search. I know they exist, but have no contact with them.

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Answered on Aug 07th, 2012 at 10:14 PM
It seems as though your son was taken from jail to state court for processing for a drug offense. Because he is charged in a criminal case if he doesn't have money to hire a lawyer, the court will appoint one to represent him. This is what he should request. He should be open and truthful with his lawyer so the lawyer can give him the best advice possible. He should be sure to tell his lawyer about his concerns because of the involvement of one of the prison guards. Good luck.

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Answered on Aug 07th, 2012 at 10:08 PM
Even if a person is serving time, they are entitled to a Public Defender regarding the new charges.

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Answered on Aug 07th, 2012 at 4:02 PM
He will be entitled to a court appointed attorney. It's going to be very tough to blame aguard so you may need to hire the best lawyer you can afford.

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Answered on Aug 07th, 2012 at 4:00 PM
I practice law in South Carolina. If your son is charged in South Carolina, I would consider representing him on payments.

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Answered on Aug 07th, 2012 at 2:54 PM
First off, an attorney taking the case "pro bono" is akin to a grocery store allowing you to go shopping without paying - it's not going to happen. If your son is indigent the court will appoint him an attorney for free; if not he has to hire an attorney.

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Answered on Aug 07th, 2012 at 2:50 PM
Go to the State Attorney General's office; FBI or State Police.

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Answered on Aug 07th, 2012 at 2:43 PM
The situation is not clear. Was your son taken from the correctional institution (which one, BTW?) to a sheriff's department to be fingerprinted or did that occur before he was incarcerated? And is your son being charged w/ possession of drugs which he insists the guard brought in (not unheard of)? Please clarify. I have payment plan options available, but I need to know in which facility your son is and where you are located to determine if the case is within my areas of practice (typically, King and Pierce Counties).

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Answered on Aug 07th, 2012 at 2:39 PM
Many attorneys will accept payment plans, but that is between you and the attorney. If your son (and/or you) cannot afford an attorney, he has an absolute right to have an attorney appointed to represent him by the court.

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Answered on Aug 07th, 2012 at 2:26 PM
If you can't afford to hire a private lawyer, then the public defender will be appointed to represent him once charges are filed.

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Answered on Aug 07th, 2012 at 2:26 PM
I have had to stop working on payments unless they are substantial, everyone is having money problems. Your son can get a public defender in the county where he is charged.

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Answered on Aug 07th, 2012 at 2:21 PM
You are looking for an attorney to do what? Your son fears for his life, right? Therefore, he will enter a plea to the drug charges and the case will pass with no further thought. If he implicates a guard there will be other consequences.

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Answered on Aug 07th, 2012 at 2:20 PM
If your son cannot afford an attorney the Court would appoint one for him. Otherwise, you will have contact local attorneys and see if anyone is willing to work on payments or pro-bono.

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Answered on Aug 07th, 2012 at 2:20 PM
Your son, presently incarcerated, will most likely qualify of appointed counsel. He is the client and he must engage an attorney. The situation which he finds himself is very serious and dire and therefore he needs the best representation possible. If his appointed counsel does not do the job then he will have to determine how to afford private counsel more to his liking.

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Answered on Aug 07th, 2012 at 2:13 PM
The pro bono attorney is the Public Defender. Private attorneys will not take cases like this without compensation. Rarely, one like me will take payments. More facts are needed in order to answer your questions about this situation. The state must prove each element of the offense beyond and to the exclusion of a reasonable doubt. When the case is built on circumstantial evidence, a defendant needs to come up with what is known as a reasonable hypothesis of innocense. You need to find out exactly what the charge is and hire an attorney to represent your son. The charge is probably something like introducing contraband into a correctional institution.

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Answered on Aug 07th, 2012 at 2:13 PM
Department of corrections would be the one to contact.

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Answered on Aug 07th, 2012 at 2:10 PM
If your son picked up a new charge and he is unable to pay for an attorney, the Court will appoint an attorney to represent him, usually the public defender's office. To expedite this process, you may want to contact the public defender's office where the new charge is pending.

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