What is a Public Defender?
A Public Defender is an attorney provided by the Georgia Public Defender Council to represent individuals charged with certain criminal and juvenile offenses who meet the statutory income guidelines and cannot afford to hire a private attorney. Representation is provided at the trial level and on appeal, as authorized.
How is the Public Defender different from other criminal defense attorneys?
Public Defenders are licensed attorneys who have the same qualifications as other criminal defense attorneys and specialize only in criminal or juvenile delinquency litigation.
How do I obtain the services of Public Defender?
To obtain the services of a public defender, a defendant must apply to and be determined as qualified for such services by a local public defender office.
Where is your office?
Public defender offices within the GPDC system are located in most of the State of Georgia. Public defenders are appointed to clients whose alleged offenses occurred in the judicial circuit in which the public defender’s office sits. To locate the appropriate office, click on County Offices.
In what counties, does GPDC provide representation?
Public defender offices within the GPDC system are located in 43 of the 49 judicial circuits of Georgia. We do not provide representation in six counties—Gwinnett, Cobb, Houston, Forsyth, Douglas, and Cherokee. A defendant in one of those counties must contact the county directly.
If I am in jail, how do I contact the public defender?
A representative from the local public defender regularly visits the local jails in the judicial circuits for which it provides representation in order to find out if anyone is in need of public defender attorney services.
Does the Public Defender handle delinquency cases in juvenile court?
Does the Public Defender handle probation revocation cases?
My case has already been tried and I want to file a criminal appeal. Can a public defender be my attorney for this appeal?
Should I discuss my case with anyone other than my assigned lawyer or a representative from the office of the public defender?
No. It is very important that you do not talk to anyone about your case without your assigned lawyer being present or without him/her giving your permission to do so.