Can I speak to a public defender before my first appearance?

Being charged in a criminal matter can be extremely traumatic. It is perfectly understandable that you might want to speak with a Deputy Public Defender before your first scheduled court date. If this is the case, you do not have to wait for your first court appearance to talk to a Deputy Public Defender. The best way to speak to a Deputy Public Defender is to call the Public Defender's Office and ask to speak to an attorney. If you are in custody, there is a direct line to our office.

A Deputy Public Defender may not be immediately available to answer your call because most Public Defenders spend much of their time representing their clients and not at their desks. The best times to call are usually early in the morning and late in the business day. If an attorney is not immediately available a message will be left for a Deputy Public Defender to return your call as soon as possible. If you feel your matter is urgent, be sure to say so when you call any Public Defender office.

Keep in mind, however, that the attorney you talk to before your court date will probably know nothing about your case and will not know your specific charges or have your police reports at his or her fingertips. In that situation, the attorney you speak with will do his or her best to discuss how the law may affect you, and what your rights are, as well as how your legal representative can acquire and preserve evidence to assist you in your case. It is quite natural to feel overwhelmed if you have been charged in a criminal case. If this ever happens to you, do not hesitate to call the Public Defender's Office for assistance. That is what we are here for.

Show All Answers

1. I think I have a warrant. What should I do?
2. When is my next court date?
3. Should I expect to be remanded into custody?
4. What should I expect at my first court appearance?
5. Can I speak to a public defender before my first appearance?
6. What happens if I'm in custody and the police want to talk to me or to place me in a lineup?
7. How do I get a public defender?
8. Are public defender's "real" lawyers?
9. Should I just hire a private lawyer?
10. How do I contact my public defender?
11. I like a certain attorney. Can I choose who is assigned to my case?
12. I don't like my current deputy public defender. Can I get a new one?
13. How can I expunge a conviction from my record?