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How do I get a public defender?

Willow Grove, PA |

I am a 20 year old male and I was charged with a DUI in Montgomery County, PA (First offense) as well as an underage drinking charge. This is my first offense of any kind. I am a full-time college student and have a part-time job. My Preliminary arrainment and hearing are a month and a half away and I would like to meet with an attorney prior to going to court to discuss my options (ARD, etc.). I am currently living with my parents, however, they are not willing to pay for a private attorney, which I completely understand. Would I be eligible for a public defender based off my finances alone?

Attorney Answers 5


  1. You would have to apply for a public defender in Montgomery County to make sure you qualify. Call 610-278-3000 and ask to be connected to their offices tomorrow.


  2. You really need to hire a private atty to make sure you get in the ard program. Sounds like you have some time to get it all together. Many attorneys such as myself who practice in montco usually will give u a free consultation and would charge a reasonable fee to handle your case. You should at least meet with any private attorney you decide and talk with them about your case.


  3. You can contact the public defenders office to see whether you qualify for representation. You may also want to meet with some local attorneys because it may within your finances.

    The above is a general answer but should not be considered specific legal advice for your case. It is in your best interest to contact a qualified attorney to discuss the particular facts of your individual situation.


  4. You have received helpful advice from my colleagues. You may call the PDs office and find out if you might qualify for a PD. Your finances are the determining factor. You also have plenty of time to talk to private attorneys. Remember that you cannot choose your PD like you can a private attorney. Good luck.


  5. Here is the problem: if you go with a public defender you may not be able to speak with them before your trial. It depends on the quality of the PD's in Willow Grove.

    Your best bet is to find a lawyer you like and then prepare for trial. Good luck.

    This response is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The response is intended, but not promised or guaranteed to be current, complete, or up-to-date. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and the receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between Mark D. Copoulos, Esquire and any party. The responses provided on this website are offered only for general informational and educational purposes. They are not offered as and do not constitute legal advice or legal opinions. You should not act or rely on any information contained in these responses without first seeking the advice of an attorney.

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