Legal Question in Criminal Law in California

I am a 24 year old single mother. When I was 23 I got into a fight with a girl. She filed a complaint against me even though it was mutual combat but it was never followed up by police. She continued for the following year to press the issue being addressed until a detective contacted me. I was fully compliant and gave my side of the incident. I provided photos of my injuries as well as proof of my apology to her after the incident. I now have a $60 warrant for my arrest for felony assault with a deadly weapon because she claims that I hit her head on her car. I cannot afford a lawyer and was wondering what I should do from here to protect myself. Her father is a California highway patrol and I am afraid this will be influenced by that fact. Again I am a single mother living on a low income (no child support ect.) and was also wondering the pros and cons of a public defender.

Asked on 7/22/13, 10:27 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Edward Hoffman Law Offices of Edward A. Hoffman

Get a public defender. Whatever the pros and cons may be, your only other option seems to be to represent yourself. That's a terrible alternative unless you happen to be a lawyer -- and perhaps even if you are.

Most public defenders are very good at what they do. They just don't have nearly enough time for their clients. That would be a good reason to look for a competent private attorney if you could afford one. Since you can't, a public defender is the way to go.

In the meantime, stop talking to the authorities about your case. You might never had been charged if you had kept your mouth shut when the detective asked to speak with you. Anything more you say is likely to make your situation worse, not better.

Good luck.

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Answered on 7/22/13, 12:50 pm

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