Public defenders are a valued part of our legal system. A few things to consider:
1. You must fill out a financial affidavit at your first court hearing that is reviewed by the Judge. If you do not meet financial guidelines, you will not qualify. For most people, having employment may put them over the limit;
2. You are entitled to a Public Defender but not the PD of your choice. If you do not feel confident in your PD’s ability to defend your case you may be stuck with that attorney;
3. Your PD can only handle the criminal portion of your case – they cannot assist you with challenging your license revocation or vehicle forfeiture.
4. A PD has a great volume of cases. You may not get the same access or one on one attention that you can get from private counsel.