The Public Defender’s office is responsible for defending indigent clients, or clients who are financially unable to pay for a private attorney. The office represents such clients charged with felonies and misdemeanors. The Public Defender also represents individuals in the juvenile and mental health courts.
The Court appoints the public defender on a case-by-case basis. To determine whether you qualify for a public defender, you must do the following:
1. Fill out this financial affidavit form;
2. Have the form reviewed by a member of the Jo Daviess Probation Department;
3. The Probation Department must recommend to the Court the appointment of the Public Defender; and
4. The Court must appoint the Public Defender to represent you.
When you fill out the financial affidavit form, you are representing to the Court that the form is a true, accurate, and complete reflection of your financial situation. Not being truthful on the form may result in a charge of perjury.
If the Court does not appoint the Public Defender, then the individual may choose to hire a private attorney OR he or she may represent himself or herself on a pro se basis.
All Attorneys in the Jo Daviess Public Defender’s Office are lawyers licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois.