Frequently Asked Questions / Client Assistance


How do I get a public defender to represent me? 

Public Defenders are appointed by the Court. To request a public defender you need to ask the judge assigned to your case when in court and fill out a financial affidavit which the judge will give to you in court

Are public defenders real attorneys?

Yes. All of our attorneys are licensed in the State of Illinois. 

What happens if I miss court?

Usually the judge in your case will issue a warrant. It is important to make contact with your attorney as soon as possible to discuss how to handle a missed court date. 

Can I pick which public defender I want to represent me? 

No. Public Defenders are generally assigned by the Chief Public Defender. Although flattering, we cannot take requests. If you are having problems with your attorney, please discuss that issue with the Chief Public Defender. 

Is what I tell my attorney confidential? 

Yes. Except in limited circumstances, attorneys are ethically bound to hold secret the confidences of their clients. The limited circumstances in which an attorney is not bound the confidentiality requirement include when an attorney reasonably believes that disclosure is necessary to prevent reasonably certain death or substantial bodily harm. 

Why hasn’t my public defender gotten my case dropped? 

Only the state’s attorney or the court can drop, or dismiss, a case. Even if the victim says they do not want to prosecute the case, the decision by law is still up to the state’s attorney. 

Can I have a copy of my police reports?

No. Illinois Supreme Court Rule 415(c) prevents attorneys from handing out police reports. However, your attorney will review and discuss the reports with you. 

Can I expunge and/or seal my criminal case? 

This is an area that we are not able to assist with. However, please check the Illinois Appellate Defender’s website and “click” on expungement.  That website that can assist you.