Frequently Asked Questions

Who Is My Public Defender?

This information may be found on the CJIS website (click here), please have your case number ready. Type guest for the user name and guest for the password.


When is my next court date?

This information may be found on the CJIS website (click here), please have your case number ready. Type guest for the user name and guest for the password.


How do I apply for a Public Defender?

You can apply to be screened for a Public Defender by contacting the location for your county shown below.

Charlotte County:
Pre-Trial Services, 1st Floor
Charlotte County Justice Center
350 East Marion Avenue
Punta Gorda, FL 33950

Collier County:
Clerk of Court, 1st Floor
Collier County Courthouse Annex
3301 Tamiami Trail East
Naples, FL 34112

Glades County:
Clerk of Court, 1st Floor
Glades County Courthouse
500 Avenue J
Moore Haven, Fl 33471

Hendry County:
Clerk of Court, 3rd Floor
Hendry County Courthouse
25 Hickpoochee Street
LaBelle, FL
or
Clerk's Office
Clewiston Town Center
931 W. Sugarland Hwy.
Clewiston, Fl 33440

Lee County:
Pre-Trial Services
Lee County Justice Center, 3rd Floor
1700 Monroe St.
Fort Myers, Florida 33901
(239)533-1730


What is the $50 Public Defender Application Fee for, and how do I pay it?

The $50 Public Defender Application Fee was created by the Florida Legislature. The fee applies whether or not you actually are appointed a Public Defender. If you do not have the money, you cannot be denied a Public Defender. You may pay the $50 fee at the following locations, depending on the county in which you applied. Even if you do not have the $50, go to the appropriate location below to arrange a payment plan.

Charlotte County:
Charlotte County Clerk of Courts on the 1st floor of the Charlotte County Justice Center.

Collier County:
Collier County Clerk of Courts on the 1st floor of the Collier County Courthouse Annex.

Glades County:
Glades County Clerk of Courts on the 1st floor of the Glades County Courthouse.

Hendry County:
Hendry County Clerk of Courts on the 3rd floor of the Hendry County Courthouse or the Hendry County Clerk of Courts in the Clewiston Town Center.

Lee County:
Fort Myers Office is located at the Lee County Clerk of Courts on the 1st floor of the Lee County Justice Center.
Cape Coral Office is located in the Lee County Government Center at 1039 SE 9th Place, 2nd Floor.


Why won't my Public Defender give information regarding my case to my family and friends?

Information regarding a person's case is held as private under the attorney ' client privilege.


What will happen at my arraignment?

After your First Appearance before a judge, if formal charges are filed, an arraignment will be scheduled. The arraignment is not a trial and not a time when evidence can be presented. At most arraignments your charges are read to you and if you do not have a lawyer the judge will again determine if the Public Defender's office will represent you. If a plea of not guilty is entered at your arraignment, your case will normally be scheduled for a pretrial conference. If the Public Defender has not been appointed, YOU MUST ATTEND THE ARRAIGNMENT.


What is a pre-trial hearing?

A pre-trial hearing is the court proceeding in which a decision is made to either set a trial date or enter a plea of guilty or no contest. You generally MUST attend a pre-trial hearing unless your Public Defender has told you not to go.


What is a Baker Act hearing? Can the patient have a Public Defender to represent them at a Baker Act hearing?

A Baker Act hearing is an involuntary mental health commitment proceeding. Generally these occur when someone has a concern that a person is a threat to themselves or others. The person to be committed is entitled to representation by a Public Defender.


If this site did not answer all your questions, please call your local Public Defender's Office with your case number ready. Thank You.