Can the Public Defender Represent Me?

Qualification and appointment process for a Public Defender

In all cases, the law requires defendants who wish to be represented by the Public Defender to fill out the Affidavit of Indigent Status. A $50 application fee will be imposed. Florida law authorizes the Public Defender to represent all clients regardless of their ability to pay the $50 application fee. In juvenile court, if the child, parent or legal guardian of the child wishes the child to be represented by an attorney, but does not have the funds to hire a private attorney, the child, parent, or guardian fills out the application for the services of the Public Defender. To download the Affidavit of Indigent Status, click here.

As defined in Florida law, a judge can appoint the Public Defender to represent a person who has income that is equal to or less than 200% of the current federal poverty guidelines, or who is unable to pay for the services of a private attorney without substantial hardship to his family, is indigent and qualifies for the services of the Public Defender.  To review Florida's income eligibility guidelines for Public Defender services, click here.


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Law Offices of the Public Defender
Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida


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