10 Court Street, Delaware
The Delaware County Public Defender’s Office is committed to the pursuit of justice by aggressively advocating for the constitutional rights and inherent dignity of individuals who are accused or convicted of crimes and cannot afford to pay for a lawyer.
The Office will advance the rights of all individuals by developing innovative approaches in our representation that promote beneficial change to the justice system and by serving as a valuable resource to the larger community.
Public Defender’s Office Frequently Asked Questions:
How do I know if I qualify for a public defender?
You must be considered indigent and also have a situation that warrants a public defender. These situations include:
- An open case with a misdemeanor charge in the first, second, third or fourth degree in Municipal Court (no minor misdemeanors);
- An open case with a felony charge in Common Pleas Court;
- An intervention in lieu of conviction violation or a probation violation in any court;
- An open case in Juvenile Court;
- An open contributing case in Juvenile Court (adults);
- An open children services matter in Juvenile Court (adults);
- A parental rights matter in Probate Court;
- An invitation to attend Grand Jury;
- A contempt matter (against you) in a Domestic Court.
To find out if you are considered indigent, you must complete and submit a financial disclosure form which may be done through the website or by visiting the Public Defender’s Office at 10 Court St.
What if I am able to hire my own attorney?
If you are financially able to hire your own attorney, you are encouraged to do so immediately. Our program is designed for those who cannot afford an attorney.
How do I find out who my public defender is?
After submitting your financial disclosure form, please contact the Public Defender’s Office by calling 740-833-2780. But, first please allow two business days for processing your paperwork.
Where do I pay the $25 application fee?
To the Clerk of Courts in the Court where your case is being heard.
I have a new case, do I need to apply for a public defender again?
It depends. Please contact the Public Defender’s Office by calling 740-833-2780 and we will look into your situation and let you know.
Am I able to see any information about a case online?
Adult court dockets, including upcoming court dates, are public record and may be accessed by visiting the following websites:
Municipal Court (misdemeanor case): https://connect.municipalcourt.org/AWC/court/
Common Pleas (felony case): https://court.co.delaware.oh.us/eservices/home.page.35
My relative/friend is in the Delaware County Jail, how does he/she get a public defender?
Inmates may request the necessary paperwork to obtain a public defender. Once completed, the jail personnel will notify the Public Defender’s Office of the request.
My relative/friend is incarcerated in prison or in a jail located in another county/state, but has an open case in Delaware County. How does he/she go about getting a public defender?
The financial disclosure form will still need completed and submitted to the Public Defender’s Office (the paper version of the form may be printed and mailed to him/her).
My relative/friend is not able/capable of completing the financial disclosure form, may I complete it on his behalf?
Yes, but they must be the one to sign it.
My relative/friend is in prison and in interested in information regarding Judicial Release. Does your office handle that?
Contact the Public Defender’s Office by calling 740-833-2780 and be prepared to provide the inmate’s name, inmate number and the name and address of the facility and the Judicial Release information will be mailed to them.
Does the Public Defender’s Office provide free legal advice?
You must apply and qualify for a public defender in order to receive legal assistance. You may, however, contact these resources and they may be able to assist:
- Legal Aide: 888-301-2411
- Interfaith Legal Clinic, courtesy of the Delaware County Bar Association at Andrews House: 740-369-4520
- Family & Youth Law Center at Capital University Law School: 614-236-7236, fylawhelp.org/
- Ohio Legal Help: ohiolegalhelp.org
I am an attorney and would like to become a public defender, how do I do that?
Please contact the Public Defender’s Office by calling 740-833-2780 or email email@example.com and to request an application packet. Keep in mind that you must either live or have an office in Delaware County to be considered.