In his first post, Mr. Severino indicated that the appointment varied "from county to county". This is incorrect. Florida statutes have specific requirements, this applies to ALL counties.
He further indicated that the appointment of the public defender (PD) was probable, "if your income is less than $50k a year." While income is a factor, Florida statutes specifically discuss ownership or property and use this more as a guideline than income.
In his next post, he indicated that, if you "couldn't AFFORD" an attorney, you have a constitutional right to an attorney. This is a common misperception, Florida statutes don't care if you can AFFORD an attorney, it cares if you are INDIGENT. There's a difference. For example, if you make $200,000 a year and your bills are $201,000 a year, you may not be able to AFFORD an attorney but you certainly are not INDIGENT.
He next indicated that "public defenders are free." In Florida, this is not true. By law, the fee for a PD is anywhere from $200 to $3,500 per case. While it is certainly less than hiring a private attorney, it is not free. Again, a common misperception.
He further indicated you would have no "financial liability". As you can see from the previous paragraph, this is not accurate. Further, if you don't pay at that time, the PD's office will place a civil lien against your home. That lien will remain in place for 20 years.
I have no doubt Mr. Severino meant well and I'm sure the information would be accurate in his home state. However, here in Florida, the law is a bit different.
Also, several customers have asked how they may direct a question to me in particular. If you specifically want me to assist you in your legal matter, just put "FOR JOSEPH" in the subject line and I will gladly pick up the question as soon as I am on-line.