Legal Question in Criminal Law in Florida

My fiance got charged with a cocaine sell and cocaine possession charge 2 months ago, at first he had a public defender because I'm now a single mom and we can't afford a lawyer; Two weeks ago he got a letter stating he had a paid attorney because of something called a "conflict of interest" today he has now had three different lawyers in he two weeks time. I'm confused and don't understand what is going on, is this a good thing or a bad thing cause I'm scared.

Asked on 10/18/13, 12:30 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Craig Epifanio Craig Epifanio, P.A.

All this means is that the public defender on the case had a conflict of interest (usually due to representing witnesses or co-defendants previously). Your fiance is merely getting a private attorney, that is paid for his services by the state, to represent him. He should now direct questions to that attorney.

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Answered on 10/18/13, 12:33 pm

Joseph Justice The Justice Law Firm

It is pretty simple. If you can't afford and attorney you are appointed a public defender. However the PD sometimes has conflicts (if there were a co-defendant(s) or your fiance has previously been a victim or witness in a case where the PD was appointed). If there is a conflict you are appointed an attorney from Regional Counsel which is similar to the PDs office but for conflicts. However regional counsel probably had the same problem as the PDs office. When this happens, there is a list of private attorneys in the community that take on cases where there are conflicts. These attorneys agree to take the cases on reduced fees which are paid by the local court system.

So basically an private practice attorney from the conflict list has been appointed to represent him in place of the PD.

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Answered on 10/18/13, 12:35 pm

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