In criminal cases, the plaintiff is the state of Florida and the defendant is the person accused of committing a crime. The Public Defender represents people who may lose their liberty and cannot afford to hire a private attorney. Only a judge can appoint the public defender to represent the person in court after determining that the person is indigent.
As a client of any one of our attorney’s here at the Office of the Public Defender we want you to feel comfortable and confident to listen to their advice even when, and maybe especially when, it differs from information learned from sources other than your lawyer. This is an important relationship that requires cooperation from the clients as well as their attorney. Clients should work together with their attorney to build this relationship and help defend their case. It is important for the client to maintain contact and facilitate communication and keep all scheduled appointments to share valuable information about themselves and their case.
It is the attorney’s job to understand the rules of law and procedure. Every attorney here at the Office of the Public Defender has learned and will continue to learn what it takes to defend you in Court.
This website is here to give you an overview of the criminal justice process. It is by no means exhaustive of all the variables that any particular case may have.
Everything the client tells an attorney, employee, volunteer or intern of the Public Defender’s Office is confidential, governed by the attorney-client privilege under Section 90.502, Florida Statutes, and cannot be revealed without the client's consent.
It is important to understand that the client’s conversations with a spouse, family, friends, other prisoners, news reporters, police or probation and corrections officers are not subject to the attorney-client privilege and can be used against the client in court.