How do I get a public defender appointed to my case?

At your first court appearance or hearing, the court may ask if you are requesting an attorney be appointed to represent you.

If the court does not bring it up, ask the court if you are entitled to an appointed attorney in your case.

If you are out of custody, you have to complete a financial declaration and sign it under penalty of perjury before the court makes any determination about whether you qualify for the services of an appointed attorney.

If you are in custody the court will usually refer your case to the Indigent Defense Coordinator for appointment of counsel without requiring that you fill out the financial declaration.

Show All Answers

1. What is a public defender?
2. How do I get a public defender appointed to my case?
3. Can I speak with a public defender if I already have an attorney?
4. Can I drop by the public defender's office for legal advice if the court has not appointed an attorney for me?
5. Do clients have to pay for the services of the public defender?
6. How can I help my attorney?
7. What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?
8. What is ERC?
9. How do I get my case into ERC?
10. What is the difference between a public defender and a legal defender?
11. How does the county decide if I get a public defender, a legal defender or a private contract attorney?
12. Are lawyers in the public defender’s office sufficiently qualified to handle serious felony cases?