Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Frequently Asked Questions

Following is a compiliation of questions our office answers on a daily basis. Please check to see if your question can be answered here prior to calling the Agency. If you still need assistance, please call our office at 317-327-4100.

How do I know who my Public Defender is?
How do I contact my Public Defender?
How do I get my conviction appealed?
Who is entitled to representation by an appellate public defender?

How do I know who my Public Defender is?

Your public defender is assigned to you at your initial hearing or first court date. The judge will assign your case to a criminal court based on the offense. Your file is then handed over to the Public Defender Agency paralegal of that court. The paralegal will then assign your case to a public defender. This process usually takes 2 or 3 days.

How do I contact my Public Defender?

Once you know who your public defender is, you may contact him/her via telephone, mail, or e-mail (if available). Each public defender is assigned to a specific court. Please refrain from sending e-mails discussing the details of your case.  Confidential communication with your attorney should be in person.

Please understand our public defenders spend a lot of time in the courtroom and may not available to return your calls right away. Leave a detailed message on his/her voice mail with a case number and contact phone number.

NOTE: If you have an emergency (i.e. you can't make it to your court date) and you can't reach either your public defender or paralegal, you should contact the court directly.

How do I get my conviction appealed?

If you are indigent, the judge must appoint the Appellate Division of the Marion County Public Defender Agency to represent you on appeal. Tell the attorney who represented you at trial you want to appeal and ask him/her to file a motion to have the judge appoint us. If that doesn't work, write directly to the judge and tell him/her you would like to appeal your conviction and have the Appellate Division appointed to represent you.

Who is entitled to a public defender to represent a defendant on appeal?

Anyone convicted to a crime; anyone whose parental rights have been terminated; anyone who has had probation revoked; any child who has been adjudicated a deliquent.

CAUTION: A defendant who wants to appeal his plea agreement or who wants representation for a post-conviction petition cannot be represented by the Marion County Public Defender Agency. Instead, he can be represented by the Office of the State Public Defender who can be reached at 317-232-2475. We do not appeal the validity of a guilty plea, do sentence modifications, or post-conviction petitions.