At the Alternate Public Defender Service we take great care in keeping our clients informed with the latest information regarding their matters. Although it is our responsibility to represent our clients to the best of our ability, there are many things that a client is also responsible for.
Whenever you have to go to court, please make sure that you are dressed properly. If you appear in court without being properly dressed, the judge may refuse to hear your case and/or may fine you a certain amount of money that you must pay. As your lawyer, we suggest that you:
- Ensure that you and your clothes are clean and neat. Pleas do not show up smelling like alcohol.
- Wear something that you would wear to either church or a job interview. Do not wear clothes with holes or tears.
- Baseball caps, hats, and sunglasses must be removed before you enter the courtroom.
- Shoes are required. Zories or flip-flops should not be worn.
- Do not chew bettlenut, gum or tobacco while in court.
- Do not wear any article of clothing that has logos depicting beer or alcohol, marijuana leaves or objectionable language.
Remember that the Alternate Public Defender is here to help you. however, we need your cooperation so that we may serve you better.
Should we represent you in your case, we will assist in the facilitation of ensuring that you meet the conditions set by the Court in order for you to be and remain released prior to trial. At your first appearance before a judge of the Superior Court, every person charged with an offense shall be ordered released pending trial in the manner and subject to the conditions provided below:
Based on the information provided which illustrates a level of assurance, to the discretion of the judge, that you will fully comply with all Court-ordered conditions and restrictions and will not endanger the safety of any other person or the community, the judge shall order you to be released on recognizance. “Release on own recognizance” is defined as the release of the person charged without bail and upon his/her written agreement to appear in Court at all required times and places and to fully comply with any other Court-ordered conditions and restrictions.
Should the judge determine that your release on your own recognizance will not reasonably assure your appearance as required, or will endanger the safety of any other person or the community, the judge shall impose the least onerous of the following conditions which is reasonably likely to assure your appearance as required and the safety of any other person and the community, or, if no single condition gives that assurance, the least onerous combination of the following conditions:
- Placement in the custody of a designated person (Third Party Custodian) or organization agreeing to supervise and to assist you in appearing in Court; For additional information regarding Third Party Custodians, please click .
- Placement of restrictions on the activities, movements, associations and residence;
- Execution of a bond in an amount specified by the judge; such bond in the discretion of the judge to be either unsecured or secured in whole or in part by the deposit of cash or other property, or by the obligation of qualified sureties;
- Release during working hours, but with the condition that you return to custody at specified times; and/or
- Any other condition reasonably necessary to assure your appearance as required and the safety of any other person and the community.
By declaring you are eligible for representation under the Alternate Public Defender, the court has assured that you will be represented by a skilled lawyer, who specializes in handling criminal matters. As a client, you have the following rights:
- Your lawyer is obligated to act on your behalf and to represent you on indictable charges brought against you. He or she will do so with reasonable diligence and promptness. Your lawyer will respond as quickly as possible to any reasonable requests you make for information about your case.
- Your lawyer will explain your case to you to the extent reasonably necessary to permit you to make informed decisions regarding your representation. Information about your case will not be revealed to anyone without your consent.
- You have the constitutional right to remain silent. You are advised to speak to no one other than your public defender lawyer or investigator about yourself or your case once the charges are brought against you. You have the right to decide what plea to enter, whether or not to give up your right to trial by jury, and whether or not to testify on your own behalf. Your lawyer will give you candid advice in making these decisions and in handling other aspects of your case (see Miranda Rights).
- The Alternate Public Defender also will provide for you other services such as court transcripts and expert witnesses, if needed. The office has the right to decide the extent of such services and how much will be paid for them.
Once the court has determined that you are financially unable to hire your own lawyer, and that you are therefore entitled to the services of a Public Defender, you have the following responsibilities:
Meet as soon as possible with your lawyer. Discuss with the lawyer the facts and circumstances surrounding the charges against you. Your recollection of the events can be vital to your defense.
Make a commitment to assist your lawyer in gathering all necessary documents and other information that may help your case. Remember that all communications–written or oral–with police, prosecutors, the probation department, inmates or anyone else in the criminal justice system should be made through your lawyer.
Advise your lawyer of your current residence. You must notify your lawyer or your public defender office of any change in your address or phone number during the course of your representation.
PLEASE BE ADVISED, if you are accepted as a client of the Alternate Public Defender, you must maintain contact with us. This means that if you move, change your mailing address or change your employment, you must inform this office. Should we lose contact with you, we may be forced to withdraw from your case.
What to Bring
Clients Appointed by the Court:
- photo ID
- document(s) received by the court showing the Alternate Public Defender has been appointed for your case
- any other document(s) relating to your case (magistrates, complaints, indictments, etc.)
- photo ID of potential Third-Party-Custodian
- recent police clearance