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
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 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
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.