What is the law on how long you can be held in jail without being appointed a public defender?

UPDATED: Feb 19, 2012

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What is the law on how long you can be held in jail without being appointed a public defender?

My son has been incarcerated for over 30 days, he has not spoke to anyone and has not been appointed a public defender. Isn’t there a law concerning this?

Asked on February 19, 2012 under Criminal Law, Illinois


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Most likely the reason why your son is presently in jail is because a certain bail amount was set by the court and he has been unable to post a bond to be released.

As to the time for appointment of a public defender, that would be at your son's first appearance called an arraignment when the charge or charges against him are read and he then makes a plea. Most often, the arraignment occurs within five business days after a person has been arrested and criminal charges filed against him or her.

Whether your son gets a public defender or court appointed counsel depends upon whether or not he is qualified for such. I suggest that you stop by the public defender's office in the county and state where he is incarcerated to look into this subject.

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