Can I get a public defender for a drunk driving charge? 88 Answers as of June 11, 2013

What are the requirements to get a public defender for my first drunk driving arrest?

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Night Life Lawyers
Night Life Lawyers | Joshua Aldabbagh
The Supreme Court has held that the all defendants have the right to an attorney in any case where the prosecution is seeking jail time. Since jail time is a possibility with a DUI conviction, you might qualify for a public defender if you can show the court that you are unable to afford a private attorney. You can, however, find attorneys who are willing to take DUI cases for a very modest, flat rate fee.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 8/8/2011
Law Office of Thomas A. Medford, Jr., PC
Law Office of Thomas A. Medford, Jr., PC | Thomas A. Medford, Jr.
Generally your personal financial situation is the main controlling element in determining if a public defender will be appointed to represent you. Generally the less money and assets you have the greater your chances for having a PD appointed.
Answer Applies to: District of Columbia
Replied: 8/8/2011
Lowenstein Law Office
Lowenstein Law Office | Anthony Lowenstein
It depends on several factors.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/4/2011
Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Paul Wallin
If you have no ability to retain a private lawyer then at your arraignment you will ask the judge for the public defender. The court will have you complete a form that you will complete under penalty of perjury. If the court appoints you a public defender the court is required to determine how much, if anything, you will repay the county for using the public defender at the conclusion of the case.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/1/2011
A.L.A. Law Group, LLP
A.L.A. Law Group, LLP | Lauren M. Mayfield
The court will determine if you are eligible for a public defender. If you request one you will have to fill out a financial declaration including your income and expenses that you sign under penalty of perjury. If the court decides that you qualify and appoints the public defender's office you may still be required to repay them for their services.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/1/2011
    Healan Law Offices
    Healan Law Offices | William D. Healan, III
    If your income is low enough you can get a public defender.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law | Jonathan S. Willett
    Hello- Yes you can get a PD. Generally, you have to meet the federal poverty guidelines, which are very low.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Law Offices of John J. Connors, Esq.
    Law Offices of John J. Connors, Esq. | John J. Connors, Esq.
    In Massachusetts there are public defenders and bar advocates (private lawyers who take cases for the state) who are appointed by the court for indigent lawyers. Whether or not you can get a court appointed lawyer depends not on the charge, but on the determination of indigence. If you cannot afford a lawyer for any charge that carries a jail sentence as a punishment (which includes all operating under the influence charges) then one will be appointed for you by the court. If you are not determined to be indigent, you will need to consult and hire a private attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Frances R. Johnson
    Frances R. Johnson | Frances R. Johnson
    The number arrest is not determinative, your financial status is. The court has an application that can be filled out to determine if you qualify for a public defender.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Eric J Schurman, Attorney at Law
    Eric J Schurman, Attorney at Law | Eric James Schurman
    You can get a public defender, but you're much better off hiring your own attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    You need to be unable to afford to hire an attorney. You will need to make financial disclosure and then the judge will decide if you qualify.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    The only requirement for a defendant to get a public defender is lack of ability to pay for an attorney. You ask, in court,and they will tell if you qualify.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Law Office of Sean Patrick Walsh
    Law Office of Sean Patrick Walsh | Sean Patrick Walsh
    If you're indigent (poor), you have a constitutional right to a public defender. Call the Court clerk where you're charged and ask how you apply for a public defender.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Law Office of Maureen Furlong Baldwin
    Law Office of Maureen Furlong Baldwin | Maureen Furlong Baldwin
    If you are not employed or are under-employed, you will qualify for the Public Defender. If you are in jail and do not bail out, you can get the Public Defender. The only requirements are financial that you do not have money, and that the offense be an offense for which you can serve jail time. Many people elect to handle DUIs themselves w/o a Public Defender, but you do have the right to an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Potter Law Offices
    Potter Law Offices | Cal J. Potter, III, Esq.
    Yes you can have a public defender because of the prospect for jail time.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Law Offices of Sean Logue
    Law Offices of Sean Logue | Sean Logue
    You should be able to, but I reccomend hiring a private attorney. I handle many DUI cases.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC | Martina A. Vigil
    Yes, you have the right to be represented by an attorney at all stages of a criminal prosecution. If you cannot afford one, and you financially qualify, you can retain the services of the Public Defeder's Office. Contrary to popular belief, public defenders are not free. It is based on what ou can afford. To see if you qualify, ask the court to fill out a financial declaration for the Public Defender's Office.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Correia-Champa & Mailhot
    Correia-Champa & Mailhot | Susan Correia Champa
    Yes, at your arraignment you will be asked to give the Probation Office some financial information and they will determine whether you qualify for a court appointed counsel.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Attorneys of Michigan, PLLC
    Attorneys of Michigan, PLLC | Daniel Hajji
    Yes. To be eligible, you may be required to fill out a asset/income form with the Court. The Judge will make a determination whether you qualify. Even if you are qualified to have court-appointed counsel, does not necessarily mean that there won't be attorney fees that you will be responsible for at thge conclusion of your OWI/DUI case.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
    The requirements for having a public defender appointed are very simple. The crime you are charged with must be one that has the possibility of jail time associated with it, as DUI does, and you must qualify financially. The state only appoints public defenders to clients who cannot afford an attorney privately. When you go to court go to the probation department and tell them that you would like to apply for public counsel. They will interview you to see if you qualify.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Michael Maltby, Attorney at Law
    Michael Maltby, Attorney at Law | Michael Maltby
    You just need to prove your income is at a certain level and you will be appointed a public defender.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Gutin and Wolverton
    Gutin and Wolverton | Harley Gutin
    Yes. But you may be able to afford for not much more a private attorney. Call one and compare the prices and payments plans each lawyer's office has.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Law Offices of James A Bates
    Law Offices of James A Bates | James A Bates
    Yes you can if you qualify. They will give you a form to fill out. You have to put your income, whether you own a house. If you drive a Ferrari do not expect to qualify. Basic common sense stuff.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/30/2011
    John Segelbaum, P.S.
    John Segelbaum, P.S. | John Segelbaum
    You can apply for a public defender once the case is filed in court. You must meet financial eligibility requirements on indigency. However, the public defender cannot represent you with the Department of Licensing regarding the administrative suspension/revocation of you license. Contact my office for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/30/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    The requirement for getting an appointed lawyer in any and all cases in Texas's that you are indigent meaning that you do not have the funds to hire a lawyer. This applies to people on disability, full time high school students, stay at home parents of children less than school age, people making minimum wage working full time, etc. The failure to work does not make one indigent.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/30/2011
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C.
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C. | Michael Morgan
    Yes to qualify for a public defender is based n your income and your assets.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/30/2011
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    Yes, but it depends upon your financial abilities. A court will afford you the opportunity to be screened for a public defender. This generally happens at your first court appearance.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/30/2011
    Collins Law Firm, P.A.
    Collins Law Firm, P.A. | John C. Collins
    Yes. You just need to notify the court that you would like one and then meet the financial need requirement.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 7/30/2011
    Law Offices of Matthew Murillo
    Law Offices of Matthew Murillo | Matthew Murillo
    Yes, if you meet the income requirements. However, keep in mind that the public defender cannot represent you at a DMV hearing, which usually occurs before your first court hearing.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/30/2011
    Law Offices of Jeffery A. Cojocar, PC
    Law Offices of Jeffery A. Cojocar, PC | Jeffery A. Cojocar
    Just ask the court for one and an attorney should be appointed.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/30/2011
    The Law Firm of David Jolly
    The Law Firm of David Jolly | David Jolly
    You may get a public defender for a DUI charge. They are generally hard working knowledgeable attorneys but do not expect a lot of one-on-one attention as they are very busy. They will not help you with the DOL hearing, however. They only way you can get the public defender is if you meet their financial requirements - and this differs depending on the court.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
    Simply fill out the form and show that you do not make enough money to hire an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/25/2011
    Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
    Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
    I would advise either contacting the court or contacting a local defense attorney who has cases with that local district court on regular basis. Most attorneys provide free initial consultations. This response does not contain specific legal advice. If you would like specific legal advice, you should obtain the services of an attorney to assist you with this matter. Speaking in general terms, policies for court-appointed attorneys vary significantly depending on the particular county or local district court where the case is being adjudicated. Court-appointed council requests are often managed by pretrial services for the particular court or some departmental equivalent. Since traffic offenses involving the alleged consumption of alcohol frequently are charged as misdemeanors or potentially felonies, punishable by jail time, an arraigning judge will typically advise the charged individual of their right to council at the first arraignment. Further, anyone charged with a misdemeanor or felony always has a right to ask for a court-appointed attorney. However, in some limited situations, judges will not make a court-appointed attorney available for a person charged with misdemeanor or felony offense. These situations may occur if the charged person is potentially interested in pleading guilty and: - if there is some type of diversionary program available which may divert the case from the court's supervision or; - if the presiding judge has no intention to sentence a person to jail time for a successful plea and sentence. Anyone charged with a misdemeanor or felony offense always has the right to retain their own council. However, courts have some discretion to limit when court-appointed council is available. It depends on the factual circumstances, the charges, and the policies of the particular district court and district court judge. I would advise contacting the court or a local criminal defense attorney who has cases on a regular basis before that court for more information.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/23/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    Absolutely. You must satisfy the judge that you cannot afford your own attorney. Stay well.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/5/2011
    Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
    Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
    In order to qualify for an court appointed attorney you need to be poor enough. Contact the court to get an application to get an attorney assigned to you.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Subin
    Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
    Yes. You have to show that you cant afford an attorney, and one will be appointed.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/4/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    A court appointed attorney would be available for a DUI charge, but there may be financial limits you must qualify for before the Court will appoint an attorney for you. In other words, if you make too much money, you may not qualify for court appointed attorney. Court appointed counsel is primarily for those who are indigent.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 5/3/2011
    Bloom Legal, LLC
    Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
    You will need to express your intention to have a public defender appointed to you at your first hearing or arraignment. The court will provide you with the information necessary to do so.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 5/3/2011
    Harris Law Firm
    Harris Law Firm | Jennifer C. Robins
    Obtaining court-appointed counsel for any criminal charge is as simple as filling out the affidavit of indigence, showing you do not have the financial resources to hire your own attorney. You should be able to do this at your first court hearing, then the court will appoint counsel.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/3/2011
    Riley & Wells
    Riley & Wells | Mitchell Wells
    Yes. First, the prosecution would have to be seeking a term of incarceration (even a suspended sentence). Second, if the prosecution is seeking a term of incarceration, then you would have to financially qualify. The Court will provide the financial forms.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 5/3/2011
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady | Kevin O'Grady
    A public defender is available when you are charged with a crime, if you are poor enough. If you have a full time job, of almost any sort, that is difficult. Assuming you do qualify, that doesn't mean that one will be appointed to you , but rather that the public defender's office will be assigned and you may have more than one person handling your case. Many times, in such a situation, the public defender who happens to be in the courtroom will handle your case, may not have met you previously, nor discussed the case with you. It may be that the public defender does not get to go to the scene with you, which could be important in your case. You should consider hiring a private defense attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Hawaii
    Replied: 5/3/2011
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre | Jonathan T. Sarre
    While requirements doubtlessly vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, if you have a somewhat limited income, you probably will qualify for a public defender. In Oregon, where I practice, it is common to appoint a lawyer to represent a person but to order the person to contribute a portion of the fee the lawyer or law firm gets paid by the state. The amount a person will be required to contribute will vary from $20 to a few hundred bucks, depending on what your income level is. On the other hand, if you make too much money (or own your own home or some other piece of property), you may not qualify and will have to retain an attorney privately.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/2/2011
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    Depends on judge if you qualify. If judge says no, you can plead or hire your own attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/2/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    If you aren't working, have no income and no savings and don't own a home, those are usually a good basis to be given a Legal Aide attorney.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/2/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    In a misdemeanor case, if jail time is going to be imposed, you have the right to a Court Appointed attorney. Otherwise, you do not. You may always choose to hire an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/2/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    If you make less than the limit in your city (it can be about $200 per week) and have no assets you may be eligible for a public defender. You should retain an experienced attorney in your city to handle the case or you may pay a lot more in insurance, fines, civil penalties, and have a conviction for a misdemeanor that will prevent you from getting a good job or career. Criminal convictions last forever and can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars in lower wages and insurance payments over time. My fee for a DWI is only $1,000-$1,500 for a plea and $2,500-$3,000 for a trial. Most cases are plead out for $1,500 to an Impaired which is a violation and not a criminal record.The best thing to do is to consult with a private attorney and ask him to take payments. I require a $500 retainer and $100 per month for 10 months which is affordable for most people. I have handled hundreds of DWI cases and have only had a few convictions for the misdemeanor DWI so there is a very good chance that you can avoid a criminal conviction if your breath test is under .17 and there was no accident. On a second or third DWI you will have a lot harder time getting a break from the judge. Feel free to call for a consultation.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/2/2011
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    Each county has financial criteria for the appointment of counsel. You will need to fill out a financial declaration under penalty of perjury and your eligibility will be determined.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/1/2011
    The Law Office of B. Elaine Jones
    The Law Office of B. Elaine Jones | B. Elaine Jones
    It is based on your income. You will have to fill out a financial affidavit and possibly provide some type of proof of income to qualify for a public defender. Good Luck with your case.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/1/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    You may ask for a public defender right away, once you appear in front of the judge. Whether the judge will appoint one depends on various circumstances. Public defenders are for use by indigent offenders, that means, if you are working and capable of hiring your own lawyer, or own substantial property like a good car or vehicle, or have posted a bond with substantial funds, or have substantial funds in any kind of bank account, more likely than not, you will not qualify for the P.D.'s services. In any case, feel free to request one, as you definitely need representation by a qualified attorney, and public attorneys are certainly qualified, when facing a charge this serious.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/2/2011
    The Law Offices of Dustan Neyland
    The Law Offices of Dustan Neyland | Dustan Neyland
    The standard in Texas for being given an appointed attorney is whether or not you are indigent (poor). If you have made bond, it is presumed that you have the ability to hire a lawyer. If you request the judge to appoint you an attorney, then you will be asked to provide your financial information and the judge will determine if you are indigent.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 4/30/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    You must fill out an income declaration and asset statement for the Judge, who will determine your eligibility. Keep in mind, however, that the PD cannot and will not represent you at the DMV, which is a significant portion of any DUI case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/1/2011
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    The only requirement is that you do not have enough money to hire private counsel Some places make you go to two or three lawyers and have them sign something saying they are turning you down because you cannot afford them.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/1/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Yes, if you are unable to afford the cost of a private attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/2/2011
    The Law Office of Stacey Wolcott
    The Law Office of Stacey Wolcott | Stacey Wolcott
    My feeling is it is dependant on the county that your case is filed in. Some counties required you to fill out a financial declaration then they appoint the public defender based upon your lack of income. Since a DUI is a misdemeanor charge you are constitutionally entitled to an attorney at all stages of the proceedings.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/1/2011
    Law Office of Joe Dane
    Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
    Yes, if you financially qualify, the court will appoint an attorney to represent you in court. Keep in mind that a public defender cannot and will not assist in any proceedings by the DMV. You only have 10 days to request a hearing or they will automatically suspend your license.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/2/2011
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
    I highly recommend finding an experienced lawyer such as myself, however, if you are in search of a public defender, it depends on what county because you have to be below the poverty level. For example, Livingston County, MI is $400 /week income.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/2/2011
    California Criminal Defense Center
    California Criminal Defense Center | Ardalon Fakhimi
    It is possible to get a public defender for a drunk driving charge IF YOU QUALIFY. The court will have to determine whether you qualify based on review of your financial declaration. You may be responsible for reimbursing the county for the services of the public defender at the conclusion of your case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/2/2011
    Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller
    Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller | Thomas Mueller
    You do qualify for a public defender on a dui, however you must be very poor to get one. If you don't have a job or are working for minimum wage you probably can. For more info or a fee quote, call.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/2/2011
    Beard Law Group, P.C.
    Beard Law Group, P.C. | Christopher Beard
    You have to ask for a public defender at your preliminary hearing and meet the income requirements. Be mindful that misstating your information in order to get a public defender appointed may result in additional criminal charges. Call your local public defenders office for more information.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/2/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    Because you are facing potential jail time for a conviction on a DUI you would be eligible for a public offender if you qualify. To qualify for a public defender you would have to prove that you are not able to afford to hire an attorney to represent you and that you are indigent. Indigent is normally considered to be that you do not have sufficient income to support yourself and to pay for the services of counsel.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/2/2011
    Mercado & Hartung
    Mercado & Hartung | Stephanie Hartung
    The court is required to appoint an attorney for all persons charged with a crime that meet certain indigence requirements. When you go to court for your arraignment (first court appearance) the judge will ask you if you plan to hire your own attorney (which is an attorney you pay for and choose) or if you want to apply for a public defender (the court picks an attorney for you). The clerk will then give you the instructions for applying for a public defender. The public defender will represent you for the criminal component of the charge, but be aware there is a civil component to the DUI as well, which is the Department of Licensing Hearing. If you provided a breath test that was over the legal limit or you refused the breath test, the DOL will automatically suspend your license 60 days after the date of arrest unless you request the hearing, which must be done by submitting the hearing request form 20 days from the date of arrest. The public defender will not represent you at the hearing, so if you want to contest the suspension via the administrative hearing you will need to hire private counsel. Please feel free to call me if you have any questions.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/1/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    If you fall under the income requirements you will. If you make so much money you will not.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    Anytime a person is facing a jail sentence they are entitled to request a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 5/2/2011
    Law Offices of Scott G. Hilderman
    Law Offices of Scott G. Hilderman | Scott G. Hilderman
    Yes if you qualify. You will need to fill out an application which will be provided to you at your first court appearance.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 5/2/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    You probably are not eligible for one. Public Defenders are only required for felonies or misdemeanors where jail is a likelihood. First offense DUIs very rarely go to jail. However, you may want to consider investing in a good DUI attorney as they can greatly help in reducing or even getting the charges dismissed. The amount of money you spend on a good DUI attorney you will save in the longrun on fines, costs, license points/sanctions, etc.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/2/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    I would recommend that you go ahead and contact your local public defender's office and submit an application, rather than wait until you go to court. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/2/2011
    LynchLaw
    LynchLaw | Michael Thomas Lynch
    The basic test is: Can you afford private counsel? The court might ask if you work, and if you do, how much do you make. It might also ask about large assets such as a home, and how much equity you might have it that asset.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/2/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    If you qualify financially. Apply at your first court hearing.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/2/2011
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law | William C. Gosnell
    Yes, if you are unemployed.
    Answer Applies to: Tennessee
    Replied: 5/2/2011
    Hale Law Group
    Hale Law Group | Joshua D. Hale
    Public defenders are based off of income and necessity. Depending on your income you may be able to get a public defender. You may also want to consider a private attorney, because the public defender is not free, and you will have to pay for your representation regardless. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/2/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts | Andrew Stephen Roberts
    Yes- financial issues.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/11/2013
    Eversole Law, LLC
    Eversole Law, LLC | Steven Eversole
    The answer should be yes. Unfortunately, most jurisdictions will say no, especially in the many Alabama municipal courts. Anyone charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol should always consult a well qualified Alabama DUI Defense Lawyer. I also recommend that you do not rely on the state's appointed lawyers unless absolutely necessary. Some would be surprised to learn that you too can afford a good lawyer. My firm focuses on Alabama DUI Defense, we handle hundreds of cases a year and throughout the state of Alabama. Please feel free to give me a call for further information at 205-981-2450. In the meantime, please feel free to visit my website at http://www.alabamaduidefenselaw.com and my Alabama DUI Defense Blog at http://www.alabamaduilawyerblog.com for more information.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/1/2011
    Lori C. Obenauf LLC
    Lori C. Obenauf LLC | Lori C. Obenauf
    If you request a public defender, the court will have administrative personnel determine whether or not you qualify for appointed counsel. It will depend on whether you have sufficient income or assets to pay for a lawyer in private practice.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/1/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/11/2013
    Nichols Law Firm
    Nichols Law Firm | Michael J. Nichols
    Typically not in Michigan on a 1st offense unless there is the potential for jail to be imposed.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/2/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    You have to meet economic needs test.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/1/2011
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    You can only get a public defender if you are charged with a class A misdemeanor, which means that you may be sentenced to jail. On a first offense that is not possible unless there are other circumstances such as bodily injury or a high chemical test that subject you to enhanced penalties.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 5/1/2011
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC | Rankin Johnson IV
    Not being able to afford one. The courts are usually pretty flexible about that. If you get turned down originally, there's probably a process to ask the clerk's office to reconsider, and if not you can ask the judge to appoint counsel. If the court refuses but you really can't afford an attorney, get quotes from a few attorneys ($5,000 and up for a DUII, probably) and go from there.

    If you can afford an attorney and the court won't appoint an attorney, hire one. (If you don't like your public defender, you might think about hiring an attorney; maybe family can help out with the cost.) If it's your first charge, your best choice might be to do diversion, in which case the charge will be dismissed if you do treatment. An attorney to assist with that is a lot cheaper than an attorney to handle a trial.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/1/2011
    Law Office of Neal L. Weinstein
    Law Office of Neal L. Weinstein | Neal L. Weinstein
    Yes, if the prosecutor is looking at a potential jail sentence for you and you qualify on the basis of your income. If the prosecutor tells the judge that he is not looking to put you in jail, even if convicted, you cannot get a court appointed attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Maine
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    Kelly A. Broadbent, Esq.
    Kelly A. Broadbent, Esq. | Kelly Broadbent
    In Massachusetts the court will appoint a bar advocate for a reduced or no fee if you meet the income requirements. The probation department should interview you prior to arraignment to see if you meet the levels. Otherwise, you can represent yourself or hire an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    Law Office of Gary Lazar
    Law Office of Gary Lazar | Gary Lazar
    If you meet the financial requirements (basically not being able to afford an attorney) the court will appoint a public defender. You will have to fill out a form detailing your financial situation and the judge will make the decision whether or not you qualify.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    Yes, as long as you qualify. You have no make little to no money. If you have enough money to live on, you will probably not qualify. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/2/2011
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    You have to qualify financially (i.e. meet their guidelines for income, assets, etc.) and you also have to go to your first court date on your own, get an offer from the prosecutor, reject the offer and request to have the public defender appointed.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/2/2011
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