what do i do ifI cannot afford an criminal defense attorney in Florida, regarding a felony.

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what do i do ifI cannot afford an criminal defense attorney in Florida, regarding a felony.

Asked on June 5, 2009 under Criminal Law, Florida

Answers:

M.H., Member, California Bar / M.H., Member, California Bar

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

You are entitled under the constitution to a public defender if you cannot afford an attorney.  However, you will first have to demonstrate impoverishment to qualify for such an attorney.  If you have some amount of income, you may not qualify.  Some states, such as New York, offer a supplement to the public defenders office for those defendants that are not destitute, but would face a significant hardship in hiring a private criminal defense attorney.  Contact your local bar association to find out the rule in our locality.  Best of luck.

I offer this information in an effort to allow you to better understand some general legal principals that may apply to your fact scenario.  This is not intended to substitute for a detailed consultation with an attorney admitted to practice before the bar of your state.  Laws differ from state to state.  Thus, the information above does not constitute legal advice.  Further, ethical rules prohibit an attorney such as myself from "practicing" law in any state but the state in which I am admitted.  

S.J.H., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Every locality has certain income guidelines to follow when determining if someone qualifies for free counsel. You need to check with your locality. Also, even if you don't technically qualify, depending on the nature of the charges and your overall life situation, it may be in the discretion of the Presiding Judge as to whether he/she will afford you counsel. However, these are specific to your State and your specific county so you need to consult with an attorney in your area or the Court Clerk. You should also contact your local Bar Association as they usually have panels wherein attorneys agree to take cases at reduced rates. You may be able to find an attorney whose fee may be reasonable.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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