We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Court-Appointed Attorney?

By J. Beam
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
MyLawQuestions is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At MyLawQuestions, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Generally referred to as public defenders, court-appointed attorneys are lawyers who provide legal counsel to those who have been criminally charged and cannot otherwise obtain or pay for an attorney; the court-appointed legal assistance is usually free, unless the defendant was not charged with the original crime, in which case the suspect must pay for the service. In the United States, access to a court-appointed attorney is a defendant's right under the 6th Amendment; the Miranda Rights require that police inform suspects when they are criminally charged of their right to an attorney. Court-appointed attorneys are employed by the federal government in most cases, but some work for non-profit entities that are funded by the government. Certain criteria must be met to qualify for assistance from a court-appointed attorney; for example, a suspect must prove financially unable to pay for the cost of an attorney, and there must be a possibility of an imprisonment sentence.


When a charged defendant is brought before a judge for a hearing, the judge will usually ask the defendant if he or she wants to hire an attorney privately or use a court-appointed attorney for his or her defense. Before defendants can qualify for access to court-appointed attorneys in the US, they must meet two pieces of criteria; first, they must be facing a criminal charge that carries the potential for an imprisonment sentence if convicted, and second, the defendants must further prove indigent, being unable to afford legal counsel, and will be asked to divulge financial information verifying their situation. If the judge determines that a defendant cannot afford counsel, he or she will approve the request for a court-appointed attorney. In Europe, the requirements vary slightly: the defendant must prove a lack of means to pay for legal counsel and it must be in the interest of justice. A court-appointed attorney is only available to suspects of capital offenses in China, leaving many suspects without proper legal support.


In most cases, court-appointed attorneys are not completely free of charge unless the defendant is not convicted of the crime they were originally charged with. Typically, if a defendant is convicted, a judgment is entered requiring payment based on several factors, including financial situation, severity of the charge, and depth of defense. In most cases, court-appointed attorneys are less costly than private attorneys.

While it is the right of all defendants to be provided with legal counsel, a majority of people do not qualify financially for access to court-appointed attorneys and are forced to hire private counsel. Many people question the quality of defense provided by court-appointed attorneys who, in effect, work for the courts; however, it is their legal responsibility to defend all people fairly to the best of their ability. All persons who are facing criminal charges will be instructed with options for obtaining legal counsel. They can also call their local bar association for further information.

Legal Right

The landmark case of Gideon v. Wainwright in 1963 is largely responsible for the public defense system that is in place in the US today; during this case, the US Supreme Court put a requirement in place stating that state courts must provide an attorney for suspects who could not afford it otherwise. As a result, most attorneys appointed by the court in the US are employed with the federal government. In Europe, a qualified defendant has legal rights to free legal counsel from a court-appointed attorney under Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. While not every jurisdiction has a public defender's office, most do; in the event that they do not, the court will usually assign court-appointed attorneys from private legal aid firms with whom they have a contract.

MyLawQuestions is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon951441 — On May 15, 2014

I had a court appointed attorney in a criminal case. I was never notified of courts dates nor of any continued dates. Is the attorney legally representing me?

By DreamerVet — On Jan 27, 2014

I don't know if this will do any good as I don't really see any answers here, but a friend of mine had found herself in a lot of trouble after going to pick someone up from their buddy's place.

While waiting for them to get ready to leave, the cops arrived and raided the place. They found meth on the premises and arrested everyone there and charged my friend with all of these charges as well, and claimed that she was involved with the manufacturing and distribution of meth. She didn't know they were doing that or that it was there. This was the very first time she was at the place and it was only to pick up her "friend". Now she is facing six months in jail if she takes a plea, or 15-20 years in prison if she doesn't. She is even being charged with drugs that were found in a vehicle that was on the premises.

Her lawyer isn't doing anything to defend her in this case. My friend doesn't do drugs, and they refused to give her a drug test when she was arrested. They put her in jail for three months and drug tested her every week for the following nine months and she was clean every time and her lawyer says that she'll tell the judge these things after the judge has given the sentence.

She's going to jail for things that she didn't do or had any control over. It's a classic wrong place at the wrong time scenario. Even the people who were involved stated that she wasn't involved. What is one to do in this situation and is there a way she can get a different court appointed attorney or otherwise avoid going to jail or prison for something she isn't guilty of?

By anon245431 — On Feb 05, 2012

My son had a court appointed lawyer. He asked for a different one many times over a three year period. We live in a small town. The Judge said he is it. He was found guilty and given 30-50 years. It is a sad state of affairs. They all are friends. I wish anyone good luck but I think you will need God. Try to go it alone.

By anon242935 — On Jan 25, 2012

Good lord, I keep reading all these posts and it ticks me off. My ex's record is 65 pages long and he gets out of everything, all dropped every time or just pays a $50 dollar fine. I mean he has had three prior judgments for assault with a gun. They're all terrible charges. I have been praying for him to go to prison so my son and I will be safe from him and his crazy family.

I don't get how someone can mess up one time and serve 10 years and him having bad charges from 1992-2012 --yes, already arrested in 2012 for selling drugs to a minor and he will get off this also. The bad part is he stole my child in October and I had to pay tons of money to get him back because our parenting agreement was not enforceable, so I did not see my son for four months and I have been with him every day for nine years.

By anon175464 — On May 12, 2011

Judges, detectives, police, prosecutors and court appointed attorneys all work together. Bottom line: if you can afford private legal counsel, it doesn't matter what you are innocent or not. if you can't afford it, they will lock you up. Private counsel and a jury are your best defenses.

By anon167934 — On Apr 14, 2011

OK so i currently have two cases in lynnwood, WA and one in Spokane, WA. I'm currently in spokane living here because i had one of my cases from lynnwood transfer the jurisdiction here.

The case left in lynnwood is a shoplifting charge for $120 worth of merchandise, and they gave me three court dates. i called my old probation officer and asked him if i had to be at that first date because I'm so far away i didn't know if i could make he. He said that it's the first one so i probably wouldn't have to go, it's just for my public defender, but i lost the paper to call and arrange for a defender so i didn't know what to do.

I missed that date, thinking I'd be fine and i now have a $5,000 warrant for missing that date. I never got to call a public defender, so I don't know if i have one. I don't know where to call to get a free one, and since i have no one to call, how can i arrange a meeting with the court to quash that warrant? i now have court in the morning here in spokane. if i show up for this court date ( which is for a different case) will they extradite me back to lynnwood?

Please let me know. I have fines to pay on all three cases totaling over 13k and i can't even pay for breakfast in the morning. Ive been late on payments for one of them for like three months, haven't paid anything, a second one for about a month or two, paid nothing, and I'll have to pay this third one before that gets late too. I can't pay anything. what should i do?

By anon142586 — On Jan 13, 2011

I paid an attorney 10,000 dollars to take my son's criminal case four months ago. This man has done nothing in representing him. He had the nerve to ask me to help him and became very upset when i questioned why he is not doing his job. My question can I get a refund back.

This attorney has not viewed and of the video tapes but offered them to me to view all 21 of them. I have never seen anything like this before. Something is very wrong with this picture.

By bcra44 — On Jan 10, 2011

anon65513 or post number five you know there's always going to be someone out there who doesn't do any wrong but judge a person, which is just as much of a sin as a crime and until it hits home then its another story.

By bcra44 — On Jan 10, 2011

I would like to say that I'm not excussing people who commit crimes but sometimes people are not being represented in the best way whether they have money or a court appointed attorney. Murderers, child molesters, and people who do horrific crimes get less time than a person having a concealed weapons charge.

I am looking for answers or help. I know someone that was charged with having a concealed weapon probably more than once and had a jury trial where the jury threw out the charges twice then was told by the Judge that they better find something to charge him on then he was giving 24 years after he wouldn't take a five year deal and after talking with several lawyers who say it is nothing can be done because they either are scared to go up against a judge with that kind of behavior in the court system or because of the state it is in where some many people have been railroaded to jail because they couldn't afford an attorney.

He was also turn down for appeals and I don't think that is right the lawyers didn't want to have anything to do with the case. Should he try to find representation with an attorney in another state because he shouldn't been giving that much time for what he was charged for he is not a violent person.

This was in a court room where people lawyers were in the court room whispering and laughing out loud which I say is very unprofessional to have that kind of behavior in a courtroom.

By anon141266 — On Jan 10, 2011

i have a chronically ill child with a rare syndrome. This illness affects each child differently, and the courts has charged me with truancy due to his doctors appointments and excessive excused absences.

So "i guess it is my fault." I am a single mom. i have lost my job, am barely making bills and cannot afford an attorney. all i can do is what they tell me to. He cannot have any unexcused absences. i know how to take care of him standing orders at home, but they make me take him to the doc every time.

I cannot get a good job that is available to me, because i cannot take off every wednesday to be in court and they will not accommodate me so they cannot hire me, I cannot afford a attorney, so this single mom is stuck. Any suggestions?

By anon140211 — On Jan 06, 2011

Now, I'm not going to ask what if? Just need to state the facts and the fact is I am being sued for child support and want to know what are my legal rights when the employment I had was three years ago?

I am not employed by them any more, and want to know what are my rights concerning paying child support and making 1400.00 less than I used to make and the state wants me to pay based upon what I used to make at my employment three years ago?

Honestly, I am a caring farther of three sons and both of the mothers are getting over the state and used me to donate my sperm cells.

To all good, honest fathers: we work hard to do what we can do but we are the ones suffering behind those who do not respect the law and others and also suffering behind hoodwinked women. What should all fathers be doing as responsible, caring dads, but who do not have the money to survive?

By anon129744 — On Nov 24, 2010

If you get a free attorney say in a contempt hearing. What if the attorney never spoke to you, and just showed up. Did not file your forms needed, and you were found guilty. Didn't we have a right to a good defense too?

By paulb — On Nov 15, 2010

Can a court appointed lawyer help in a child support case? My daughter and her ex divorced 15 years ago,(he walked out on her) and in the emotions of the divorce she unfortunately agreed for him to have primary custody. He made $100K+ she made $32K.

He kept most of the material goods and the complete 401K and any other savings. The divorce decree stated she would have visitation rights and she would not pay any child support. He is now married and his present wife has encouraged him to seek support for their 15 year old.

I paid $3500 for a lawyer to have the case dismissed, but he says he has a court appointed lawyer and is again seeking child support. Neither I nor my daughter can afford to pay for an other lawyer. How can he have an appointed lawyer when he makes $135,000+ and she is laid off?

By anon124936 — On Nov 07, 2010

I filed a protection order against a minor. Does my minor who I'm trying to protect have a right to a court appointed attorney?

By anon121144 — On Oct 23, 2010

OK so i was court appointed a lawyer and i still have to pay for him? even though i have no funds to do so?

By anon117483 — On Oct 10, 2010

I live in San Antonio Texas my husband is being held in the Bexar County Jail without bond facing 25 to life for several charges. his caa has made no effort to speak to the judge to post bond and reset for another date. Does getting paid only on a guilt verdict apply to Texas courts?

By anon114891 — On Sep 30, 2010

After nine years I finally decided to take my son's father to court for child support. He in turn is now fighting for custody rather than pay child support. I cannot afford an attorney. What do I do?

By sailorsgirl — On Aug 25, 2010

what is the difference between a court appointed attorney and a state-appointed attorney, and if I'm not satisfied with him can I ask for another one who is not from the public defender's office that he works out of?

By anon102085 — On Aug 06, 2010

It's sad I live in a county (Butts County, GA) where the judge will not appoint an attorney to a case. They try and force you to hire an attorney. We cannot afford an attorney due to my husband's illness he has not been able to work. We can't afford to buy food but I make too much money. What has the world and the legal system come too!

By anon96535 — On Jul 16, 2010

To me, some of you must not watch the national news. Just because a person is charged doesn't meant he/she is guilty! Because of genetic testing, many people who were in prison have been exonerated and sent home!

Every unjust judge has a boss, even though it may be the voters of that county. Also, don't forget the right of appeal, which is everyone's right, even though it usually requires an attorney.

All of those hardened people who say "You did the crime, now do the time", should remember that to be charged does not mean you actually did the crime! Some police and attorneys lie some of the time, and they too can be charged with lying.

One of the problems in this country's legal system is that the judge goes hunting with the attorneys, so naturally he wants to rule in their favor. After all, he hunts for free!

You shouldn't believe that justice is blind, just because the statue in the courtyard is! By the way, all of you high-minded folks, I have absolutely no criminal record for 60 years! American jurisprudence is not always fair, except in theory.

By anon93385 — On Jul 03, 2010

no. 43 - This is an unfortunate consequence of the difference between civil and criminal cases. In a civil case, it is assumed that neither party is at fault until the judge or jury make their final determinations. In a criminal case, the defendant is assumed to be innocent until proven otherwise, and the guarantee of legal counsel is part of that process.

By anon90400 — On Jun 15, 2010

Why can a criminal get a free lawyer but a father trying to keep his kid cannot even thought his ex keeps on taking him back and back to court. I guess my son does not have the same rights as a criminal.

By anon79180 — On Apr 21, 2010

In most every area, except possibly for the largest of cities, court appointed attorneys are private attorneys who contract with the courts. When a judge determines a defendant is indigent, an attorney will be appointed to represent the defendant.

The attorney will receive a much lower pay rate than if he or she is hired privately. They accept the lower rate from the county because of the volume of work the county appoints the attorney.

The attorney will be paid the rate by the county at the conclusion of the case. It does not matter what the disposition is, the attorney still gets paid for the work performed.

By anon77146 — On Apr 13, 2010

I agree with a lot of people on this blog. You wouldn't need an attorney at all if you didn't make stupid choices, and it's not the attorney's fault. Take responsibility for your own actions and quit blaming other people for your screw ups.

I don't feel one bit sorry for you. If you get put in jail and I hear you crying and whining because you have a family, blah, blah, blah, remember, you put yourself there.

And while you might have to pay attorney's fees, taxpayers are forced to pay for you sitting in jail, getting three meals a day, free medical care, free housing. Shame on you.

By anon73055 — On Mar 25, 2010

Here's something you all may feel is injustice. my daughter is 21 and sitting in a detention center in our small community in Ky.

she has been there for more than 2 1/2 months on an epo/dvo violation and she is almost due to have my grandchild, and until yesterday had not seen a doctor. the judge in this case has denied her the right to a court appointed attorney and we cannot afford one for ourselves since she has been in jail.

the grandparent of her other son is about to get full custody of him and so because of all this she may lose her child and so much more. i have called everywhere i can. so if anyone can help me with this please let me know. --Mom at lost

By anon71731 — On Mar 19, 2010

Sweet. I have been billed by Oakland County, Michigan, for court-appointed counsel because of a visit from this attorney while I was locked-up in a psychiatric ward against my will.

I specifically told the police that they had no right to detain me unless I was under arrest, and they confirmed that I was not under arrest, but they strapped me down and hauled me away nonetheless.

I just called the county regarding the outstanding invoice and insisted to them that I only need to reimburse for court-appointed counsel if found guilty.

Since there were no charges in the first place, there can be no guilty verdict. Ha ha, now I'm the smug one. They'll probably get me for contempt of court. Communists, all of them.

By anon70576 — On Mar 15, 2010

OK i got into trouble four months ago i was given a attorney and at the preliminary hearing, I showed up and i was given another attorney so things were postponed again. Then when i went to court with the second one a month later and they call me and tell me they can help me and now i am going to court again to get another one. how many times can they do this to me? tattoo

By anon65706 — On Feb 15, 2010

Remember that court appointed attorneys are being paid by the very people who are prosecuting you. I am in Cochise County, Arizona. The County Attorney's office basically hires these court ppointed attorneys who work for the criminal defendant and the County Attorney's Office prosecutes.

I am familiar with a few of the court appointed attorneys and they are the bottom of the barrel: alcoholics, drug problems, etc. I am not saying all are bottom of the barrel, but if I were looking for a private attorney, I would stay away from anyone working for the county as well.

Also, if the attorneys only get paid if the person is found guilty, where is the incentive to get them off?

I have a friend who sat on a jury and watched this court appointed attorney and he said later that the "guy was a Judas goat". A quick look at his case history and it is mainly made up of "pleas".

Imagine the CAA working for the CA's Office (the State of AZ) and the prosecutor offers them a plea for their client. Now, the CAA wants to stay in good with the CA's Office or maybe the office would not alert them of cases as often or something like that.

You wouldn't believe what goes on in the Cochise County court system!

By anon65513 — On Feb 14, 2010

You know I came here looking for help. Now I find myself helpless and pissed! My sister could be sentenced to die in the state of NC for a murder I know factually she did not commit. And some of you want to talk about whining and oh well do crime do the time.

Death isn't time; it's tragic. I came here to search for what she could do from jail, where's she's been for two years, to get in front of the judge to ask for different representation.

What form, call collect, whom would she write so she could have a shot at a fair trial. Hopefully she could be appointed someone who would be willing to at least gather evidence in her behalf in two years' time.

The attorneys she has now have met with the family and told us that her case wasn't try-able and that we should urge her to agree to let them go to the district attorney and ask for a plea of life without parole! And another plea before that!

I pray every night that some change or call or answer will come and my sister will be set free to come home where she belongs! Now I will also pray for the ones who make terrible comments on posts like this where some are trying to truly get help.

May no tragedy be brought on to you or yours and may you never have to be faced with things like this in your own lives. Thanks to anyone who could help or at least listen. That's more than our family has gotten in two years. God bless!

By anon64494 — On Feb 07, 2010

you are certainly right about those appointed attorneys, but they don't know what goes around comes around. one day someone if not the person himself, will experience the same treatment. as long as there is a God; you will reap the harvest you sow. please believe me.

By anon60540 — On Jan 14, 2010

It can be so confusing about (CAL). From my experiences (CAL) are going to get paid regardless if you win or not, I have seen in the court room of a young man on trial and innocent, not fortunate enough to pay for an private lawyer, and the court appointed lawyer sat there and didn't say a word on the defense of this young man. Basically, picking her nails.

So they do not have to defend you and they do not care. All you have is God on your side.

By anon58990 — On Jan 05, 2010

I’m currently being denied a court appointed attorney for a disorderly conduct because there in no chance for me to have a loss of liberty, (no jail time) however I will receive a fine if convicted. Anyone know a way for me to be appointed an attorney regardless of this rule that was stated to me?

By anon55979 — On Dec 11, 2009

To the person who said you shouldn't complain about a court appointed attorney; you should just not commit a crime, shame on you!

Look in the mirror, have you ever had a drink and drove, that's a crime in most states; however you can buy alcohol at almost every restaurant. Maybe that should be a new law,you can't serve alcohol. It's become a little, a lot ridiculous.

Shame on everyone who thinks they're perfect and they have the right to judge others. Be careful, you're next.

By anon53326 — On Nov 20, 2009

My son, 21 years old at the time, had a court appointed attorney for a B&E case. Attorney fees amounted to $15,800. This seems high to me but I don't know what to expect.

Seems to me if we'd have known it would cost that much we could have at least explored other defense options. I realize he needs to be punished but with court costs and attorney's fees, he owed over $26K. I'm not sure how they expect him to pay that. Feel like we're punished for not knowing the system.

By anon52986 — On Nov 18, 2009

I visited your website for the first time and found this site very useful and interesting! Well, you guys are doing nice work and I just want to say that keep rocking and keep it up! Sara, find attorney

By anon46575 — On Sep 27, 2009

When the case is settled, the judge will impose an attorney's fee, usually much less then you would have to pay for that same attorney privately. We are petitioning to replace our caa because I overheard him say he wasn't thrilled working for $25 an hour, stood up the court, my dad, and my son. You usually have to go through the Circuit Defender to get another caa. I understand that the attorney is appointed from start to finish. Call legal aid and ask that question.

By anon46162 — On Sep 23, 2009

I have to agree somewhat with “folks whining” statement! I agree about people shouldn't commit crimes! And those people who do should have to answer to those crimes. But what I want to know is how is it that some people get less time for committing a greater crime than those that commit a lesser crime? What makes a court appointed attorney the judge? Because my son had been in trouble for a different crime 10 years before the court appointed attorney said he should take the six years. Imprisonment because apparently the five years he did before didn’t help! I think if we are spending our tax payer money, maybe we should spend it on trying to rehabilitate these people instead of just locking them up with no counseling, then after they do their time release them and say good luck! Well! It takes more than luck to make it after being locked up!

By anon45611 — On Sep 18, 2009

Jesus, a convicted felon, did not receive a fair trial before an impartial judge and/or jury and all judges and/or juries shall be presented before His Throne, and convicted, by Jesus. It is all about the money.

By anon45071 — On Sep 13, 2009

All I can say is Oh my God! The system sucks! Our family is going through tough times, facing a criminal charge that can carry a 15 to life charge, and i've got to tell you finding an attorney, private, or appointed, that will work for you, and not themselves is like a needle in a haystack! We looked into hiring a "private" attorney but we were looking at 50,000 to 150,000 and nothing guaranteed. We have a public defender and it seems he works but not enough through the technical details which really count in this case. We were looking to get an appointed attorney but from reading the blog it seems the system is just another money making business. All we can do is pray. All of you remember God is the only one that judges at the end. Good luck everyone.

By anon43302 — On Aug 27, 2009

OK i had 3 different court appointed attorneys. None of them explained to me the differences between misdemeanors A, B, or C. Neither did they tell me the seriousness between them all and what it will effect my future. I am 20 now and i can't get a job and i can't get into school for some petty misdemeanors that should have been C's if i would have known that C's were better then an A i would have fought my case better. But my court appointed attorney never explained anything to me and just made me plead guilty by persuading me that i have no chance at trial. If anyone goes for one don't listen to them. you can bring your sentence down and you can work out a better deal. What can i do about my situation? i'm going to make a complaint to the texas bar, but what can help me with my record? i never got represented right?

By rockny23 — On Jun 09, 2009

Are there any pro bono organizations in ny state? My family and I are in Desperate need of an attorney. We don't feel like we're getting adequate representation from the public defender but don't have the 50 to 100k to provide.

By anon33163 — On Jun 02, 2009

How can an inmate who had a court appointed attorney, pay for the service? I thought it was "free of charge" if you are indigent. Not all inmates have jobs 'inside' nor can their families afford to pay this bill. What is the answer to this dilemma?

By anon23423 — On Dec 24, 2008

I have the same question as Calijoe

My son is 19 and has been given a court appointed

attorney. How can we get another attorney and

dismiss the other? Or can we?

By anon22470 — On Dec 04, 2008

Remember. If you don't have money, and you are not guilty of a crime, you can still fry. The legal system in the USA sucks!!! Police Investigators use directional questioning in order to get the response they want out of a person. Then they use that response to confuse you. Court Appointed Attorneys are NOT here for you, they are here because they want to make a name for themselves at any cost. God Bless all those in prison who are innocent of a crime and placed there unfairly because of our screwed up justice system.

By anon19655 — On Oct 16, 2008

To Rodyo...I certainly hope you have never driven after having a drink, or given a friend and aspirin, or jay walked, as you may not know...many people face charges for things they did not do or are just plain ridiculous. Be careful of court appointed attorneys, in general they will do nothing to defend you and they are NOT free. They often charge for each item you are charged with and do not consider person's ability to pay, which they are supposed to by law. You will find that in small towns there really in no justice.

By reneeyoung — On Oct 15, 2008

I have a 15 year old son that lives in Georgia with his father. I had joint custody and I live in Florida. His father killed himself over the weekend and I had plans to bring him back with me to live since I have custody. Before the funeral was held. It hasn't even been held yet, the grandmother petitioned to get custody. Her plan is to move to the town where my son lives and raise him and now has temporary custody until December when it can go before the judge. I don't have the kind of money to fight but I don't feel like I have done anything to deserve this because my son just simply doesn't want to leave his friends. He will adjust here in time. I need to know if I would be eligible for a court appointed lawyer to help me.

By anon17591 — On Sep 02, 2008

I know someone who is being sued by their former husband for custody of their 12 year old child. She has no job and her current husband wants nothing to do with this case. He barely has enough money himself to take care of the family, let alone an attorney bill. She claims she'll get a court appointed attorney, which I don't think she can because she's committed no crime. Can she file for legal aide without her husband's consent and signature? He's worried that another bill will be compiled for him without his knowledge. What would she do about representation?

By camelshoes — On Jul 17, 2008

I have the same question as vhval. I always thought that you were innocent until proven guilty? If you have no money they you are not innocent until proven guilty. someone please help me.

By rodyo — On Jul 10, 2008

Perhaps you folks whining about your court appointed attorney shouldn't have committed the crime in the first place. You commit a crime, your generally free attorney (actually, tax payer funded) will probably lose because, justice usually works, and you'll do time.

By vhval — On Jun 18, 2008

what is the right of a defendant whose court appointed attorney comes to him when he is scheduled for trial on a charge in which he was never arrested, received summons sent to an address in which he had moved from and has not had a preliminary hearing, and has no discovery or paper work regarding the charges and suggest he take a plea? How does one get a REAL attorney because public defender is not even requesting discovery and suggest a plea bargain? He feels he cannot get a fair trial with that kind of representation??? Anyone got suggestions, we have no money in the family to hire an attorney. Money is the key to justice from what I am seeing, without it, you're guilty!

By anon14230 — On Jun 12, 2008

okay my husband had court appointed attorneys for 3 felonies. there was a plea made and he still had to serve prison time now at the clerk of court they are saying he owes attorney fees for 850 is this correct i thought court appointed meant free. i mean i have had several court appointed and never been fee'ed. idk

By aileenie23 — On Jun 07, 2008

What is the procedure to apply for a court appointed attorney? Is there a form i can download online?

By jemirah39 — On May 20, 2008

My Fiancé has been charged with a crime in May of last year(07) and has been released on house arrest in october(07). Now he has this stupid court appointed attorney who keep telling him that he should'nt try to get a schedule to go out and look for a job because the judge can revoke his house arrest for asking. Is this true as though it sounds ridiculous? There are also other things I don't like about this attorney. is it possible for him to ask for another attorney or will they give him a P.D?

By anon12974 — On May 16, 2008

can someone get bonded out if he has a court appointed attorney?

By wegotcards — On Apr 30, 2008

my son is 19 years old. we live in new york (long Island) is he responsible for the lawyers fees or are we??

By calijoc — On Jan 23, 2008

my daughter was given a court appointed attorney and i would like to fire him for many reasons, how do i do that?

By anon4519 — On Oct 21, 2007

Can a court refuse to give you a court appointed attorney even though you requested one when they asked? Financial information wasn't given to the judge and the judge flat out said that a court appointed attorney couldn't be given because of the fact that I didn't have children. I am 22 years old and I am being charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

I was at a party and minors were there and even though I hadn't purchased alcohol for the minors and I was unaware of the fact that there were minors I am still being charged. I don't have the money to hire an attorney and when the judge said that I couldn't have an attorney because children weren't involved I was speechless. I thought that when an attorney appointed by the state was requested one must be given if it is not possible for me to afford one. Is this right or should I fight this, too?

By MountainLily — On Oct 10, 2007

My son (18 years old) went to Municipal Court yesterday in Arkansas City, Kansas on a first appearance for a charge of Battery. He is charge with Battery (hitting a drunk man one time).

My son has no job. He plead not guilty and asked for a court-appointed attorney.

Judge Iverson told him that if he plead not guilty in his court HE WILL DO JAIL TIME. AND that he could not have a court-appointed attorney on his first Battery Offense.

Is this legal?

By andrieneb — On Jun 23, 2007

when a court appointed attorney has been appointed to your case for an appeal, is he appointed to the entire case or can he be appointed to only a portion of it? my husband attorney said that i would have to hire another lawyer(suggesting himself) for the so called WRIT part of the case is that legal? he said he was not hired for that part can that happen?

MyLawQuestions, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

MyLawQuestions, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.