Q: Just a small question about court because I am clueless to everything…
When I spoke to the sheriffs, they told me they would provide a “public attorney” since I do not have the funds for one and it’s been a week and ever since all I get are advertisements in the mail but not the one that has been told to me… so my question is when or how will I get in contact with this provided attorney? Will they call me or is it going to be on court day? I’m not sure what to do other than just call the sheriffs office to ask them the question…
A: As a former judge and attorney of nearly forty years, my suggestion is that you actively pursue any appointed attorney or public defender so that you can keep yourself informed as to the status of your case…Nothing is worse than waiting for the day of court to find things out…This also applies to those that are represented by privately retained lawyers.
A: Hello there. If you (1) have been arrested or are charged with a crime and (2) cannot afford an attorney, an attorney will be appointed to you. How this typically works is that you will go to your first hearing on the case, which is usually your "arraignment." The arraignment is a hearing where the state attorney (also known as the prosecutor) will announce whether they are going to go forward with the case and charge you with the crime. At that time, the judge will ask if you have an attorney and/or if you can afford an attorney. You will usually fill out a form that asks questions about your assets and how much you make. If you don't make enough money, the Judge will appoint an attorney from the public defender's office. If you would like to speak to an attorney from the public defender's office before that hearing, then you can call your local public defender's office. Just google the name of your city or county and the term "public defender" and you will find the office. It is important that you keep your address updated with the court so that you receive all notices of hearings in your case. You should also look up your case on the Clerk's website (the clerk for your county or city) and you can see the hearing dates there. I wish you the best on your case.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.