Court Appointed Attorneys
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I find out if I qualify for a Court Appointed Attorney?,
Determination of whether you are qualified to get a court appointed attorney is made following a brief interview that is conducted by the Livingston County Public Defender's Office. Their office can be reached by phone 517-540-8745, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or in person at 1221 Byron Road Howell MI 48843.
Can I choose my own attorney when I qualify for a Court appointed attorney?,
No. When a party is qualified for a court appointed attorney an attorney is selected by the public defender's office and is assigned to the party. If you know of a possible conflict that the attorney who has been appointed to represent you has in representing you, bring it to the attention of public defender's staff as soon as possible.
Since I got this attorney from the Court, should I be worried that everything I tell the attorney will get back to the Court?,
Attorneys who accept appointments from the public defender's office include private practice attorneys and employees of the county. These attorneys are provided to represent the interests of the parties they are assigned to, and have ethical obligations to their clients, and rules from their own profession that they must follow regarding confidentiality. It is in your best interest if you are using a court appointed attorney to provide as much information as possible, and to ask any questions that you may have.
At what point in the case do I ask for a court appointed attorney?,
The public defender's office cannot appoint an attorney until after the arraignment has taken place. Generally, it is best to contact the public defender's office immediately after receiving paperwork following the arraignment if possible. You will receive paperwork after the arraignment hearing at the “Criminal Matters” window in District Court. If charges are related to an existing Circuit Court case, you will receive paperwork from the Court Clerk in the courtroom following the hearing.
What do I need to bring with me when I ask for a court appointed attorney?,
Bring all paperwork you received to the public defender's office. This will include a Bond or a Notice to Appear.
When should I contact my attorney?,
Generally, you will have about two weeks before you appear back in Court. If an attorney is appointed for you, the name and phone number of the attorney will be provided to you. You should contact your attorney as soon as possible. If you have not contacted your attorney by the time of your next hearing, your attorney will be at Court at that time, and you should arrive in time to consult with your attorney. Although they should return your call when you contact them, court appointed attorneys generally do not initiate contact with parties in advance of the court hearing.