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What are the financial requirements to be eligible for a public defender?

Riverside, CA |

I do not believe we have the finances for a private attorney. With all the monies paid already, we may have to go with a public defender. There is very little income here. The party involved only works part time. How can you possibly afford a private attorney, maybe only if the attorney is able to wipe out the fines and help with the license.

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Attorney answers 5


First talk to private attorneys, get their prices and see what they offer and then, if you still feel you are unable to qualify for a PD, then contact the PD.

Elliot Zarabi

Elliot Zarabi 213-612-7720 This answer does not constitute full legal advise. I do not know the full details of the case and therefore cannot make a full determination on your case or your answer. I always recommend speaking to an attorney in detail regarding your case.


I agree.. There are a lot of attorneys who will take payments. If it is a traffic matter, it should not be too expensive. I would be happy to help answer questions if needed. I am in the riverside courts everyday.


I wish I could give you a bright line income figure, but I cannot, because some Public Defender Offices will take debt and expenses into account. Please be advised that if you are eligible for a public defender, sometimes the Judge will order to pay the County a reasonable portion of the services given to you, so it is not always free. I suggest following my colleague's advice: contact private attorneys in your area, and see what the quotes are, and make your decision accordingly. good luck.


In many counties, a gross income of between $1,000 to $1,500 will qualify you for a public defender. Of course they look at your household expenses, who you are supporting and rent and other such things.

The information and legal suggestions made herein do not in any way create an attorney-client relationship. The responses provided herein discuss general principles of law and should not be relied upon by the asker in making legal decisions. Only an attorney who has met with the asker and fully reviewed the facts and circumstances of the asker's individual case should be relied upon for legal advice. If you find my suggestions helpful, please mark the appropriate box as helpful.


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