Free Representation in Criminal Matters
Office of the Public Defender
York County Judicial Center
York, Pennsylvania 17401
Phone (717) 771-9217
Facsimile (717) 771-4759
The York County Public Defender will represent persons free of charge, who are unable to pay for an attorney, and who are charged by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with felonies, misdemeanors, or summary offenses which carry the risk of prison. Please note that the Public Defender's Office does not offer representation for traffic citations or summary offenses unless you are facing jail as a result of your charges.
The Public Defender's office is located in the York Judicial Center on the 3rd floor, at 45 North George Street, York, PA, 17401-1240. The phone number is (717) 771-9217.
Application for representation must be made in person. You will need a copy of your charging papers when applying (generally a criminal complaint and affidavit of probable cause). Applications will not be accepted without the proper paperwork. Application should be made at least ten (10) days prior to your preliminary hearing. If applying for representation on a case that is already scheduled before the Court of Common Pleas, the application should be submitted at least two (2) weeks prior to any scheduled court appearance. This is to ensure we have time to gather any necessary information about your case or request a continuance.
The Office of the Public Defender makes the determination of whether one qualifies for representation by a public defender. You will have to disclose your income and your assets, providing proof of your income. A public defender will be appointed to represent you if it is determined that you do not have the ability to retain a private attorney. Eligibility is assumed for juvenile proceedings, and revocation and contempt cases where the person is incarcerated. Each case is evaluated individually. The public defender may decline services if you appear to have the ability to retain your own lawyer.
If you qualify for representation by the public defender there will be no charge to you for their services. Furthermore, there will be no filing fees charges for any legal papers filed in your case.
If you qualify, but it is determined that a conflict of interest exists preventing the Public Defender’s Office from serving on a particular case, we will petition the Court to appoint and compensate a private attorney from outside the Public Defender’s Office to represent you. There is still no charge to you for any service or filings.
If you know someone in York County Prison who seeks our representation, that person should fill out a request at the jail to be interviewed by the public defender and, one of our inmate coordinators will meet with the person to commence representation.
MONDAY – 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
TUESDAY: 8:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. & 1:00 p.m. –4:00 p.m.
WEDNESDAY: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
THURSDAY: 8:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. & 1:00 p.m. –4:00 p.m.
FRIDAY: 8:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.