Apply Online for a Public Defender

The Public Defender's Offices provides legal counsel in matters where a lawyer is constitutionally guaranteed. The following requirements and exclusions may apply.

Legal Counsel Provided

  • A person is charged with juvenile delinquency
  • Critical pretrial identification procedures
  • Preliminary hearings
  • State habeas corpus proceedings
  • State trials, including pretrial and post-trial motions
  • Superior Court appeals
  • Pennsylvania Supreme Court appeals
  • Post-conviction hearings at the trial and appellate levels
  • Criminal extradition proceedings
  • Probation and parole violation hearings
  • Involuntary commitment under the Mental Health Procedures Act
  • Any proceeding where personal liberty is in jeopardy

Legal Counsel Not Provided

  • Family Division matters such as divorce, child custody, support, initial Protection from Abuse (PFA) proceedings, or termination of parental rights
  • Traffic citations, unless there is a mandatory sentence
  • Landlord-tenant matters
  • Dependency proceedings involving the Office of Children, Youth, and Family Services

Meeting with Your Attorney

Persons released on bond will be able to speak with an attorney at the time of the intake interview.

Persons in custody because of charges will be interviewed in the jail prior to the preliminary hearing.

Preparing for Hearings and Trial