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A Public Defender is a lawyer who works for the Public Defender's Office. You may be appointed a lawyer to represent you in your criminal case if you do not have enough money to hire one. The lawyer who is appointed to your case may work for the Public Defender's Office or may be a private attorney appointed to you by the court.
The first step is to ask for one. When you were first arrested the judge asked you if you wanted to be interviewed for a court appointed lawyer. If you answered "yes" you should have been interviewed to determine if you qualified for one. Even if you answered "no", you have the right to request a court appointed lawyer at any time.
If you give us your written permission to share information with your family, we will do so. However, please know that any information you ask us to share with anyone will not be protected by the attorney-client privilege and that person can be forced to testify about that information in court.