Is it legal for a judge to deny an indigent person a public defender?

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Is it legal for a judge to deny an indigent person a public defender?

An indigent friend of mine went to court for a disorderly conduct charge. The judge denied her a public defender and expects her to defend herself. She has a seizure disorder and is on disability/fixed income.

Asked on September 26, 2011 under Criminal Law, Illinois

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If your friend is indigent and is facing a criminal matter, she has a Constitutional Right to be afforded legal representation assuming she has no finances to pay for such.

If the judge denied her a public defender at the last hearing after the request for one was made, very well the judge may have violated her Constitutional Rights. I suggest that she meet at the public defender's office in the county where the criminal proceeding is placed in order to see if the public defender's office will represent her in the criminal action.

Good luck to her.


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