Katerine Lopez serves as Chief Assistant Public Defender for the County Court Division of the Law Office of the Public Defender. Ms. Lopez obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, with a minor in Biology, from Hofstra University. Ms. Lopez then attended St. Thomas University School of Law where she graduated cum laude, earning her Juris Doctorate in 2013. Ms. Lopez served as a Staff Editor for the St. Thomas Law Review. She is a member in good standing of the Florida Bar, the New York Bar and the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Ms. Lopez previously served as head of the Forensic Unit at the Broward County Public Defender’s Office. In her spare time, Ms. Lopez coaches law students competing on the St. Thomas University School of Law Mock Trial Team.
The Public Defender’s office represents adult individuals charged with misdemeanor offenses. Misdemeanors are crimes carrying a maximum punishment of one year in jail. These offenses include driving under the influence, resisting without violence, trespassing, driving on suspended license and battery. Some misdemeanor cases result in jury trials. However, there are several diversion opportunities available to qualified individuals charged with misdemeanor offenses. The diversion programs include: the Misdemeanor Diversion Program, the Domestic Violence Diversion Program and the Driving While License Suspended Program.