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How would one go about getting a public defender for criminal court in New York City?

New York, NY |

My daughter is nineteen and does not have enough money to pay for a lawyer, is it possible for her to be assigned a public defender to help her with her second time petit larceny arrest? How would she go about applying for one if it is in fact possible?

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Attorney answers 2


Hello there,

You need to contact the court and inform them of your indecency status. You may be required to fill out what is know as a pauper affidavit. That is just a form stating you are too poor to hire an attorney and the court should appoint one for you.

You can have an attorney appointed but you cannot chose the lawyer the court appoints.


Erick Platten



Every state has different laws pertaining to when a person is entitled to a public defender. In general if a person is facing the possibility of jail time (as is likely the case here) then they are entitled to a lawyer. When your daughter goes to court she should advise the court she does not have funds to retain counsel. The court likely will have her complete a financial application and then will determine if she qualifies for a public lawwyer to help her with your case. It is wise to contact a local criminal defense attorney to ask them directly about the procedure. Best of luck.

Disclaimer: This answer is provided as a public service and as a general response to a general question, it is not meant, and should not be relied upon as specific legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.