EARLY REPRESENTATION PROCESSLaw Office of the Public Defender

Broward County, Seventeenth Judicial Circuit of Florida

CLIENT SUPPORTEarly Representation Process

It is extremely important that you do not discuss the facts of your case with anyone other than your attorney.

If physically arrested, you may be taken to the Main Jail in Fort Lauderdale for booking. Depending on the reason for the arrest you may be permitted to be released or required to post a monetary bond. If you cannot afford to post a bond before appearing before a magistrate judge within 24 hours of the arrest, you are entitled to a bond hearing before a judge.

Under Florida Law you are entitled to see a Judge within 24 hours of arrest. At the first appearance / magistrate hearing the Judge will determine whether the police officer had legal authority (also known as Probable Cause) to support the arrest. The Judge will also decide (1) whether you are entitled to be released from the jail and (2) whether to order any conditions of your release. The judge may require that a sum of money be posted prior to release – Bail / Bond. The judge may also prohibit you from engaging in certain activities or may require you to do certain things upon your release as a condition of the release from the jail.

You have the right to an attorney during your First Appearance / Magistrate hearing. If you are unable to afford an attorney, you may receive representation from Law Office of the Public Defender through an application process. If you are determined by the Clerk of Court to be indigent an attorney from the Law Office of the Public Defender will be appointed to represent you. Once appointed an attorney from our office will make legal arguments on your behalf and advocate on your behalf at this initial hearing.

And Each Shall Stand Equal

There is a $50 application fee assessed for each application filed for consideration of appointment of the Law Office of the Public Defender to represent you in a criminal matter. The $50 Public Defender Application Fee was created by the Florida Legislature. The fee is not refundable and applies whether or not a Public Defender is actually appointed for you. However, if you do not have the money, you cannot be denied a Public Defender. The $50 fee can be paid or a payment plan arranged at the County Clerk of Courts Office.
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Law Office of the Public Defender, Broward County Judicial Complex 201 SE 6th Street, Suite 3872 Third Floor, North Wing Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
1 954 831 8650

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