Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get a public defender?
Public defenders are requested and appointed by the Judge
during arraignment. The Judge determines if you are
eligible for a public defender based on your current
financial situation. The Office of the Public
Defender is not permitted by law to provide legal
advice until officially appointed.
How and when do I meet with my appointed public defender?
You must call the Public Defender’s office anytime after the Public Defender’s Office
is appointed to schedule an appointment.
Can a public defender help with my divorce? Child custody?
Public defenders are only appointed for criminal cases including
felonies, misdemeanors, and mental health hearings.
Are public defenders “real lawyers”?
Yes. All public defenders are licensed to practice law by the Arkansas
Bar Association. They have the same education and meet the same requirements
as attorneys employed by private law firms. They aim to provide every client
the best possible representation.