Public Defenders: Everything you wanted to know, but were afraid to ask.

Written by Reynolds Defense Firm

On January 30, 2018

Thinking about using one of the court’s Public Defenders for your DUII case?  Wondering if that’s the best route for you? Having a hard time determining?

Everybody has heard the attorney portion of Miranda Rights when read to a suspect on Law & Order or in action movies,

“…You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you…”.

When you’re facing criminal charges like a DUI arrest, you’ve already got that in the back of your mind.  “If I can’t afford an lawyer, one will be given to me by the court.”, but do you really know what that means?

First, the “lawyer” that is being referred to in the Miranda warning is a Public Defender, sometimes called a Court Appointed Attorney.  Depending on your financial circumstances, you might be able to use the services of a Public Defender for free, but the real questions need to answer before doing that are below.  Starting with

What is a Public Defender?

A Public Defender, sometimes referred to as a Court Appointed Attorney is a lawyer that represents you, at a significantly lower rate than if you were to hire an lawyer privately.  Occasionally the courts appoint your lawyer for free, but typically the court determines a reduced fee based on your income and assets.  The state of Oregon subsidizes your legal services because you have the constitutional right to a fair trial and the right to an attorney.  The criminal defense system is complex, it is difficult to navigate through the rules and procedures of courts that vary throughout the state while managing your own personal and emotional needs.


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