What do I do if I desperately need a criminal defense attorney and can't afford one?
5 attorney answers
You're often better off with a public defender. They know their stuff in most counties. A PD will provide better representation than a court-appointed attorney usually. The best private attorneys are expensive. It seems counter-intuitive but it's true: the best lawyers are usually free (public defenders). The second best are the most expensive (high-priced private). The worst are the cheap paid lawyers or court-appointed lawyers.
If you are unable to afford a private attorney, Pennsylvania courts will appoint an attorney to represent you free of charge. This is called a public defender. You may call the public defender's office in your county to set up an appointment to see if you qualify.
Borrow money to get an attorney. It's either that or wait for the public defender to get around to you.
R. Jason de Groot, Esq. We do not have an attorney-client relationship. I am not your lawyer. The statements I make do not constitute legal advice. Any statements made by me are based upon the limited facts you have presented, and under the premise that you will consult with a local attorney. This is not an attempt to solicit business. This disclaimer is in addition to any disclaimers that this website has made. I am only licensed in Florida.
If you cannot afford a private attorney, the court will appoint counsel (public defender) to represent you. That's how it works.
Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney--
Try to borrow money from friends or relatvies to hire a lawyer, or wait until court and work with the public defender.