The Public Defender’s Office for Clay County, located in Louisville, IL, represents those individuals that have been accused of a crime that carries with it the possibility of incarceration in either prison or the Clay County Jail. The Public Defender handles all types of criminal matters, from misdemeanors, the less severe offenses, to felonies, the more serious crimes. The Public Defender’s Office can also be appointed in cases involving Juvenile Delinquency, Truancy, and Abuse and Neglect of minor children. However, the Public Defender cannot be appointed for petty offenses, which are minor offenses such as some traffic offenses for which the possible penalties do not include the possibility of jail time. When a defendant cannot afford to retain private counsel and has been determined to be indigent by a judge presiding in Clay County, then the judge may appoint the Public Defender to represent the defendant. The court determines eligibility for a Public Defender based upon the number of dependents that Defendant has and defendant’s salary. For information about who qualifies for representation by the Public Defender’s Office and how and when you can apply, please visit their website.