What is a Public Defender:
A public defender is a criminal defense attorney appointed by the court to represent defendants unable to afford an attorney. Public defenders are provided to criminal defendants free of charge, as long as they can prove to the office/court they are unable to pay for private representation.
When a person finds himself in need of legal representation after being arrested for a criminal act, there are certain steps to be taken in order to receive the assistance of a public defender.
- Defendant must fill out an application to qualify. An application will be provided to the Defendant with their charge paperwork, or one may be found on the website. The defendant may be required to prove his inability to pay for private representation by providing proof of his financial situation, including information about the dependents, with whom they are supporting, the finances are based on everyone in the household’s income.
A Criminal Public Defender does NOT represent Family cases, Custody, Divorce, Landlord/tenant or Summary cases, etc., these are civil issues represented by a Civil Attorney.