Legal Links Management Regional Offices Contact Us
Past Public Defenders
Trial Services
Our Services
Client Rights
Client Reponsibilities
Law Guardian
Office of Juvenile Service
Office of Parental Representation
Special Hearing
Intensive Supervision Program
Drug Court
Mental Health Advocacy
Office of Dispute Settlement


By declaring you eligible for a public defender, the court has assured that you will be represented by a skilled lawyer, who specializes in handling criminal matters. As a client, you have the following rights:

Your lawyer is obligated to act on your behalf and to represent you on indictable charges brought against you. He or she will do so with reasonable diligence and promptness. Your lawyer will respond as quickly as possible to any reasonable requests you make for information about your case.

Your lawyer will explain your case to you to the extent reasonably necessary to permit you to make informed decisions regarding your representation. Information about your case will not be revealed to anyone without your consent.

You have the constitutional right to remain silent. You are advised to speak to no one other than your public defender lawyer or investigator about yourself or your case once the charges are brought against you.

You have the right to decide what plea to enter, whether or not to give up your right to trial by jury, and whether or not to testify on your own behalf. Your lawyer will give you candid advice in making these decisions and in handling other aspects of your case (see Miranda right).

The Office of the Public Defender also will provide for you other services such as court transcripts and expert witnesses, if needed. The office has the right to decide the extent of such services and how much will be paid for them.

The Office of the Public Defender will continue to represent you, if necessary, in a direct appeal of a conviction or in any post-conviction proceedings warranting assignment of counsel, pursuant to rules of the court.