Frequent question: How do I get a public defender in Philadelphia?

Who qualifies for a public defender in PA?

To qualify for a public defender, a person must have an income that is no more than 25% above the poverty line, based on the number of people in the household.

How do I get a public defender appointed?

How do I get a public defender? Public defenders are appointed by the court for defendants who cannot afford to hire private counsel. If you have not bonded out, the court will automatically appoint a public defender for you at your first court date, called your arraignment.

When can you ask for a public defender?

Ask for a Public Defender at Arraignment.

Once arrested, you will either be given a notice to appear in court, or you will be held in a local jail cell until your arraignment. In either case, you must appear at your arraignment court date, at which time you can ask the judge for a court-appointed public defender.

Are public defender services free?

Q: Is a Public Defender free? A: No. An application fee of $50 is required by state law. Also, if you enter a plea or are convicted at trial, the court will enter an order requiring payment of reasonable attorneys’ fees.

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Can I apply for a public defender online?

Go to the Online Application to Apply for a Public Defender page on the Public Defender’s website. … Complete the application and send it to the Public Defender’s by email to pd@countyofberks.com or fax to 610-478-6673.

Do I make too much for a public defender?

In Alberta, legal aid isn’t available to anyone making over $20,000 a year. In Ontario, the threshold is $17,731.

How do I write a letter to a public defender?

Your letter should start with “Dear Judge (last name of the judge assigned to the case)” but you should mail, email or fax your letter to the defendant’s attorney. You should not send your letter directly to the judge. It must be provided to the judge by the attorney.

What happens if you don’t have a public defender?

If you’re facing criminal charges and are unable to afford a private defense attorney, you may qualify for a court-appointed lawyer. … Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed.

Can a public defender get a case dismissed?

Many are resolved with plea deals before the case heads to court. … Of course, a defense lawyer can never make a prosecutor dismiss a criminal case. Instead, a good defense attorney can present the facts prosecutors need to see in order to come to their own decision to dismiss the case.

What to do if you can’t afford a lawyer?

How to Find Legal Help When You Can’t Afford a Lawyer

  1. Contact the city courthouse.
  2. Seek free lawyer consultations.
  3. Look to legal aid societies.
  4. Visit a law school.
  5. Contact your county or state bar association.
  6. Go to small claims court.
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How do I hire a public lawyer?

To get a public defender, when you are in court:

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