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Public defender

Washington |

Are public defender's free of charge (will I receive a bill)?

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Attorney answers 3


Public Defender's represent people accused of a crime. Most courts instill a policy regarding income level criteria to determine whether a person is eligible for a Public Defender. In the event the criminal charge results in a guilty plea or a conviction, upon sentencing most counties in WA State access fees ranging from under a hundred dollars towards around several hundred dollars. Most counties allow fines and fees to be paid in monthly amounts.


Typically, public defense services are free to those found by the court to be truly indigent. In some cases, varying by jurisdiction, courts will appoint public defenders to defendants who narrowly exceed the indigency threshold. In those cases, the court may require the person to pay some amount to recoup the cost for the public.


In Florida, the Public Defender services are free, with the caveat that Courts may impose a Public defender lien upon services rendered at the conlcusion of a case so as to allow for recoupment of some costs. This is seen mostly with felony cases. These costs are usually collected through the probation office in the form of costs and fines.

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