Legal Question in Constitutional Law in California

my girlfriend was arrested weds night. pulled over for a tail light and breathalyzed. She has been held in custody since wed. Due to delayed processing, she was denied her first court date on Friday and moved to Monday, forcing her detainment over the weekend for a total of 4 days. The court on Monday was over booked and as a result the Public Defender told the last four girls that they had to plee "not guilty" because they did not have time to deal with them until Oct. 8th at their pre trial. The girls protested, but were hushed and told what to do. Afterwards she was denied her request for a different defender and was told that her plea was being filed as "not guilty". Even after refusing to consent to her councils demands. She is still being held in custody. What constitutional rights have been violated here? and what actions can we now take? I would like to know exactly what to say to the DA tomorrow.

Asked on 9/24/13, 10:22 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Edward Hoffman Law Offices of Edward A. Hoffman

Why are you planning to speak with the D.A.? That sounds like a terrible idea. You have no authority to argue or negotiate on your girlfriend's behalf. But you might very well say things that the D.A. can later use against her in court.

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Answered on 9/25/13, 10:58 am

James Goff James R. Goff, Attorney at Law

It is unfortunate that the public defender was so overwhelmed that he/she could not address the bail issue. However, the issue remains whether she can post bail or pay the significant fines and probation conditions involved in a driving under the influence conviction. Once you determine the level of her blood alcohol rate you can address the consequences. I question with Mr. Hoffman that it would be in her best interest to plead guilty without considering what is involved. The most immediate target should be raising funds to provide a bail. Since she is represented by the PD I am assuming she cannot retain counsel to advise her, so she needs to sit down with the PD to understand their proposed course of action. I doubt there is any constitutional issue involved in the process involved here except the problem faced by those who cannot afford to post bail. Good Luck

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Answered on 9/25/13, 1:58 pm

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