Our purpose is to serve the citizens of Horry and Georgetown counties by providing competent, capable, ethical and effective legal representation in accordance with the United States Constitution and the South Carolina constitution for indigent individuals charged with criminal offenses as appointed by the courts.
The 15th Judicial Circuit Public Defender Office provides legal representation to indigent adult clients charged with offenses heard in the criminal courts of Horry and Georgetown counties. Our office also represents juvenile clients charged with criminal and/or delinquent charges in Family Court.
Public Defender 15th Circuit
Ronald Hazzard is the Circuit Public Defender for both Horry and Georgetown Counties. Experienced, professional and ethical attorneys work for the Circuit Public Defenders Office.
Your attorney can do a better job for you if you remember your Constitutional right to remain silent. Don’t admit to anything until you have spoken with an attorney.
Ask for an attorney if you are taken to the police station for questioning. You won’t get an attorney right away but you don’t have to say anything. If you talk about the crime (your side) you will be arrested anyway. No Police Officer can “make a deal” about your charge, only a Solicitor can.
You and Your Attorney
Public Defenders do not make the deal in your case, the Solicitor does. Your Public Defender only tells you what the Solicitor has offered you (and your PD tries to get a better deal). Your Public Defender does not schedule your case for court. The Solicitor does. Your Public Defender does not generate the evidence in your case. The Solicitor does.
If you have been arrested for a crime, the ONLY person who has your best interest in mind is your attorney, your Public Defender.
What to Know
- I have applied for a Public Defender, how long will it take before I get an attorney: It takes 3 weeks after your application is received before we send you a letter in the mail with the name of your attorney.
- I have court scheduled and I don’t know my attorney’s name: You must go to court on the dates listed on your bond paperwork. If you do not go to court on those dates, a bench warrant will be issued for your arrest.
- How much does it cost for a Public Defender: A forty dollar ($40) fee is to be paid to the Office of The Clerk of Court.
- When can I meet with my attorney: You will meet with a representative of the Public Defender’s Office at your first court appearance. After the attorney has received the evidence in your case, an interview will be scheduled for you with your attorney.