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Frequently Asked Questions

What do Public Defender's do?
The Humboldt County Public Defender provides legal representation to indigent clients who are charged with the commission of a criminal offense alleged to have been committed in this county.

The office also represents minors against whom delinquency petitions have been filed in the juvenile courts of Humboldt County, and clients who are the subject of conservatorship proceedings in the Mental Health departments of the Superior Court.

The Public Defender does not represent people in family court, traffic court or on civil matters.

If you have any concern about talking to the police you can always request time to consult with an attorney before having any conversation with them. You have a right to speak to an attorney. The law requires that you be provided an attorney before and during any questioning at no expense to you if you cannot afford to hire one. You should not give up this right merely because the people questioning you ask you to or because it may take more time to complete the interview.

Show All Answers

1. What are my rights if I've been arrested/charged with a crime?
2. Who can get advice from the Law Offices of the Public Defender?
3. Are Public Defenders real attorneys?
4. What do Public Defender's do?
5. How do I get a Public Defender?
6. Are all "appointed attorneys" employees of the law offices of the Public Defender?
7. If my ability to speak, read, or understand English is limited can you still help me?
8. What type of support staff does the Public Defender employ in the defense of its clients?
9. How does a criminal case get started?
10. What happens to the information I give the Public Defender's office?
11. What's going to happen to me in court?
12. Someone called the police about me and now they want to drop the charges, why are the police and the prosecutor charging me?
13. What is a felony charge?
14. What is a misdemeanor charge?
15. Can I expunge my case?