What is a public defender?

A public defender is a lawyer appointed to represent people who are legally entitled to an attorney and who the court has determined are not financially able to employ their own counsel. These cases include:

  • Appellate cases
  • Conservatorship
  • Criminal felony
  • Extradition
  • Guardianship
  • Juvenile delinquency
  • Juvenile dependency cases
  • Mental health commitment cases
  • Misdemeanor

Public defenders are licensed to practice law in the State of Arizona and are only appointed after referral by the court to the Indigent Defense Coordinator. The Indigent Defense Coordinator's office can be reached at 520-432-8458.

Show All Answers

1. What is a public defender?
2. How do I get a public defender appointed to my case?
3. Can I speak with a public defender if I already have an attorney?
4. Can I drop by the public defender's office for legal advice if the court has not appointed an attorney for me?
5. Do clients have to pay for the services of the public defender?
6. How can I help my attorney?
7. What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?
8. What is ERC?
9. How do I get my case into ERC?
10. What is the difference between a public defender and a legal defender?
11. How does the county decide if I get a public defender, a legal defender or a private contract attorney?
12. Are lawyers in the public defender’s office sufficiently qualified to handle serious felony cases?