Our clients come to us for assistance in a wide variety of legal situations. We have listed below some of the most frequent reasons why you might be looking for assistance. Many of our clients are looking to contact our local office for help. If you do not find what you are looking for here, this website can help you learn about what we do, or you can contact us and we will respond to you as quickly as possible.
I am charged with a crime and need a lawyer.
Any “needy” or “indigent” person charged with a crime which carries a penalty of jail time, or a fine of $500 or more, is entitled to public defender services. A “needy” or “indigent” person is one “who, at the time his need is determined, is unable to provide for the payment of an attorney and all other necessary expenses of representation.”
In order to receive the help of a public defender lawyer you must ask your judge to appoint the public defender. You should hire a lawyer or ask the court for a public defender at your first court appearance and before you consider any offer from the prosecutor. Many judges in Kentucky will require that you first fill out an “Affidavit of Indigency.” In the affidavit, the court will require you to tell them personal information about your finances. This is required, and if you refuse to disclose your finances there is a chance that the Court will not appoint a lawyer to help you.
It is helpful to fill out this form before you go to court, or before your friend or family member is brought to court from the jail. Some judges will not wait for you to fill out this form in court, and will set you for another court date where you can ask for a lawyer. If you walk in with the form completed, they may consider your request on that court date. The form can be downloaded HERE. You can also request a paper copy of the Affidavit of Indigency from the Clerk’s Office at your local courthouse. You can also contact the local DPA office that provides services in the county where your case is located.
If you have any questions about the “Affidavit of Indigency” you can contact the local DPA office that provides services in the county where your case is located, or the central office for the Department of Public Advocacy at 502-564-8006 or via email.
I want help getting a misdemeanor or felony on my record expunged.
This website has an expungement resource page that can provide you with some basic information about the expungement process. Our attorneys are also available to assist in filing for expungement if you currently qualify as a “needy” or “indigent” person based on your financial situation. Contact the local office for the county where your conviction is located in order to see if you quality.
I need to contact my lawyer.
Where you can reach your lawyer at DPA depends on what that lawyer is helping you with:
The large majority of our clients are charged with a crime or offense and appointed a lawyer to represent them. If that’s the case for you, you can contact your lawyer at the local office that services the county where your case is located. If for any reason your lawyer is not available through that office, their staff will still be able to help you get in touch with them.
Some clients are represented by DPA after a conviction has been entered on appeal or in a post-conviction proceeding. If that applies to you, you can reach your lawyer by contacting our main office at 502-564-8006.
I have a complaint about my lawyer.
Although we strive to maintain high quality representation in all cases, we understand that there are still times when additional examination of a concern is important. If a DPA attorney is representing you and you have a concern about that representation, use this page to help you locate the DPA leader that can best address your concern.
I want general information about my rights and the court process.
Although our department can not provide legal advice to you for your particular situation unless we are appointed to represent you, we have compiled some general information about rights and the court process that you might find helpful. If you think you may qualify financially for a public defender, you can contact our local office that provides services in the county where you are charged, or look at the information in the first item above: “I am charged with a crime and need a lawyer.”