Determination of Financial Qualifications
The Butler County Public Defender's Office is only permitted to represent those who are indigent and cannot otherwise afford the assistance of counsel in their criminal legal matters, when such assistance is secured as by the United States Constitution and the Constitution of this Commonwealth. For this reason, the Public Defender's Office must make a fiscal determination as to whether or not an individual qualifies for such legal counsel. Such financial qualification is based upon the Federal Government's poverty guidelines with other factors being considered, including but not limited to, the number of dependents and child support obligations.
Documentation & Application Process
Every individual who seeks the services of the Public Defender's Office is required to fill out an application. Applications can only be made in person at the Public Defender's Office. When an individual comes to make application, it is important for them to bring the following documentation:
- Any copy of Court Order directing the payment or receipt of child support
- Hearing Notice
- Police Criminal Complaint
- Proof of income such as paystubs or the most recent federal income tax return
- Proof that you receive Social Security Income, Social Security Disability Income, Welfare or other public assistance
- Any other documentation from the Police or the Court regarding your criminal charges
If an individual makes an application and does not have such financial information, then an appointment may be made whereby that individual will return to the Public Defender's Office and provide the listed information.
The Chief Public Defender will make the final determination regarding eligibility and may require further finical documentation upon request. In addition, if your financial situation changes significantly during the course of the representation, an application is required to inform the Public Defender's Office of such change. The applications for securing counsel or services are sworn; thereby any person making false affidavits or statements subject themselves to the penalties prescribed by law.