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Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27725
Experience:  Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
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What are the financial requirements to be assigned a public

Customer Question

What are the financial requirements to be assigned a public defenderr in a criminal case?
JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Butte County Ca
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Just gor the letter today that I'm charged with felony grand theft
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Yes I'm on Social Security Have 2 Cars with loans But I'm half owner of a house my Ex Wife lives in with a loan
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 2 months ago.


I'm Zoey.

I've reviewed your post. Please be patient as I may need to research for you, and it also takes time to compose and type a reply.

Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 2 months ago.

You are likely to be over-income eligible. Public defenders are for indigent defendants. Every jurisdiction determines eligibility somewhat differently, but in general, your household income has to be at or below poverty level.

If you have assets that can be borrowed against, or credit available to you, in my experience, though you can ask for a public defender a judge will want you to retain private counsel. There are, of course, exceptions and there are no hard and fast rules. If the judge thinks you earn too much money but your funds are all allocated and you know you can barely make ends meet, you could ask for an indigency hearing to document your present financial state and show why paying for counsel would cause you severe financial hardship.

Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 2 months ago.

Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.