Public Defender

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Obtaining a Public Defender

Public defenders are appointed by the court. If you are charged with a crime and cannot afford to hire an attorney, ask the court to appoint a public defender at your first appearance before a judge. You may be asked to complete a certificate of assets to determine eligibility.

Public Defender is only appointed to represent people in criminal matters, including felonies, misdemeanors, and juvenile court. This does not include filing for divorce, arranging child support, or solving landlord/tenant problems.

Court Date Information

If you are currently represented by the Lake County Public Defender, contact our office staff to determine your next court date 847-377-3360.

If our office does not represent you, contact the Clerk of the Circuit Court to ascertain your court date at 847-377-3380. Check your court date on the Clerk of the Circuit Court's website.

Duties & Responsibilities 

The Lake County Public Defender's Office represents indigent criminal defendants charged with crimes punishable by incarceration. The goal is to assure an excellent quality of legal representation that is not dependent on the wealth and status of the accused. The Public Defender and Assistant Public Defenders are attorneys licensed to practice in the State of Illinois. 

Public Defender attorneys are appointed to criminal defendants who cannot afford a lawyer. If you do not have the money for a lawyer, the Court will appoint you to the Public Defender's Office. This representation is mandated by the U.S. Constitution, the Illinois Constitution, and Illinois law. 

Divorce or Landlord/Tenant Problems

To receive help on divorce matters or landlord/tenant problems, you should contact:

Prairie State Legal Services
325 W Washington Street
Suite 100
Waukegan, IL 60085
Phone: 847-662-6925
Phone: 800-942-3940

Lawyer Referral Service

For a Lawyer Referral Service of the Lake County Bar Association, please call 847-244-3140