In November 2017, the Department of Justice announced that it would be ending the Office of the Public Defender (OPD) as of June 2020.
While the Office was a key player in addressing many of the DOJ’s most pressing cases, it’s not clear if the Office would continue to exist as a result of this announcement.
Now, there are several options available for public defenders who are interested in continuing to work with the DOJ.
One of these options is to call the Office for a Public Information Call (OPIC).
However, some lawyers say that, in their experience, this call has been very stressful and they are often left frustrated when they’re told the line is no longer open.
If you or a loved one is in a public defender’s office and need help, you can call the OPD Hotline to speak with a public defense attorney about the current situation.
While a public advocate will typically answer questions about your case, it is also possible to talk with a lawyer about your options and what you can do to get your case heard.
Here are some tips to help you navigate through your options if you’re unsure if you should take this step.
Read your case history carefully.
Before calling the hotline, you should be aware that the DOJ will not call the office for you in the same manner as a court.
Public defenders are required to maintain a confidential relationship with their clients and will not contact the office unless the client has requested it.
To speak with an attorney about your specific case, you’ll need to call their office.
In some cases, the office may have closed its doors permanently.
Public defense attorneys who are unsure of what they should do should contact the OPC hotline and find an attorney who can discuss their case.
Read about the court system.
When a public official, like a judge, makes a ruling, the public defender must have the same access to the ruling as a criminal defense attorney.
For example, if a judge rules that a person is guilty of a felony, a public lawyer will not be able to represent that person.
If a public prosecutor is working to prosecute a defendant for a crime, a lawyer who represents a client who has been charged with a crime should also have access to information that may be important to the prosecution.
Ask the public defense lawyer to work through your case with you.
You may be surprised to learn that many public defenders do not work through the criminal justice system directly.
Instead, they may work through other offices like the Office Of Public Defender Services (OPDS) or the Public Advocacy Office (PAO).
Public defenders who work through OPD will be able, through a process called “working through the system,” to help your case be heard by an experienced public defender.
This process involves talking to the attorney who represents you, and through the legal representation that they provide, the court will decide whether the case should be sent to a trial.
If the public prosecutor can help you understand your case and its importance, you may be able convince the court that your case merits a trial and the public defenders ability to help represent you.
Keep an eye on the court.
The public defender will have access and influence over the trial process.
If they have a favorable ruling, you could ask for the case to be sent back to the judge for further deliberation.
If not, the judge may decide not to send the case back to a jury, but it may be possible for the public prosecution to ask the judge to postpone the trial until a new trial date is set.
Keep the case confidential.
If there is a trial to be held in the near future, you have a right to be confident that you will not have to disclose the details of your case to anyone.
You have the right to keep the information confidential if you wish.
Public Defenders have the legal obligation to protect the information they hold.
If someone knows the name of the public defendant, you will have a duty to protect that information.
Public prosecution lawyers are responsible for protecting the information that is kept confidential and for making sure that it is protected when it is shared with the public.
Keep your case private.
If an attorney represents you in a trial, you must keep your case confidential if possible.
If possible, you and the attorney must have separate meetings and you must sign a statement agreeing to not reveal the details in court.
If your case is not to be heard, you need to contact your attorney and discuss the options that you can pursue.
Public prosecutors have the duty to be as forthcoming as possible with the court when they receive information that they believe may be of use to the defense.
Talk to the public office you have the most contact with.
You can contact the public prosecutors office if you want to talk to someone about your issues and are concerned about what information they have on your case.
Make a call.
While you can always call the public offices hotline, it