Right to an Attorney
You have a right to be represented by a lawyer in connection with your charges in Municipal Court. You may hire an attorney of your choosing. Also, the Western Judicial Circuit Public Defender Office represents persons who cannot afford an attorney.
If you do not qualify for representation by the public defender, you should make arrangements to hire a lawyer. If you have not had an opportunity to hire a lawyer before your court date, you must come to court on your court date and ask the judge for more time to hire a lawyer.
The Western Circuit Public Defender’s Office provides representation only for certain serious offenses in Municipal Court (including DUI, possession of marijuana, theft by shoplifting, no valid or suspended license, fleeing and attempting to elude, racing, leaving the scene of an accident, underage possession of alcohol, sale of alcohol to a person under 21, unlawful use of license, and fake ID).
The public defender represents only those persons whose income falls below a certain level. If you believe you would qualify for representation by the public defender you must make an application, and be interviewed. A $50 public defender application fee may be assessed pursuant to state and local law.
If you want to seek the assistance of the public defender, please contact their office prior to your court date. The office is located at 440 College Avenue, Suite 220, Athens, Georgia 30601. An appointment is not required for intake between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. You may also call their office at 706-369-6440.
If you have any other questions or concerns, please call the Public Defender’s main office at 706-369-6440 or visit their website at: www.athenspublicdefender.com.