How do I go about getting a public defender before my arraignment?

I had said to the police that I wanted my lawyer

Asked on April 27, 2014 under Criminal Law, New York


Richard Southard / Law Office of Richard Southard

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You don't really include enough facts as to why you need the public defender beforehand.  Typically they are assigned at arraignment, assuming you are indigent and qualify. If it's an ongoing investigation and you havent been arrested yet, and are being asked to come in for questioning or a lineup, call the local county legal aid lawyers office and inquire with them.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You can contact your state/city's public defender office, explain your situation, including your finances (public defenders are only available to those who cannot afford their own attorneys) to them and ask for a public defender--if they think you are eligible, they will help you. And/or you can contact the court (the criminal division), explain who your are and ask about a public defender, and they will put you in touch with the right person(s).

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