How to Get a Public Defender

If you are a juvenile facing a delinquency charge, you have an automatic right to a court appointed public defender if you are not already represented by an attorney. If you are not a juvenile and are facing criminal charges or the potential removal of your children from your home and cannot afford an attorney, you are entitled to a public defender. To get a public defender, when you are in court:

  • Tell the judge you cannot afford to hire an attorney and ask for a public defender; and
  • Provide the court with details about your financial situation to show that you cannot afford a private defense attorney.