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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

When is my court date?

How do I get a lawyer?

Who is my lawyer?

How can I get my license back?

How can I get my record expunged?

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ROBOCALL SCAM ALERT!
BAIL MONEY SCAM.
DO NOT SEND MONEY.

No public defender in Nashville (or anywhere else) will contact a member of the public by telephone or any other means demanding money via wire transfer, or any other form of payment. Anyone receiving such a phone call should refuse the demand and contact his/her local law enforcement agency or the Metropolitan Public Defender’s Office.
FIND OUT MORE


WELCOME to the website of the Metropolitan Nashville Public Defender’s Office.

We are pleased to offer this resource to our clients, their families, and the general public, and we hope the information you find here helps answer your questions. As the largest criminal defense law firm in Nashville, we strive to provide the best possible representation to our clients. As a public service agency, we also want to offer the best service to our community.

Beyond the information you find here, you should know that the entire staff of the Public Defender’s Office takes great pride in the work we do. Our Mission is to provide zealous representation to our clients and to fight for equal justice for the indigent accused. We are truly honored to make the Sixth Amendment right to counsel a reality in Nashville. With all the problems in the criminal justice system today, we work to be one of the solutions.

Meet the Defenders

FIRST 24 HOURS

If your loved one is arrested, what can you do within the first 24 hours? Click on the graphic above for answers.

Find out who to call to determine whether or not your loved one is in jail. Also find out about bail, when the first court appearance is, and who to call if you have concerns about your loved one’s health.


TAKE THIS BOOK
Defendant and Family Handbook

We know this time is hard. We want you to see your Nashville Defenders legal team as a resource deeply committed to your case. The Defendant and Family Handbook is designed to help you and your family understand the criminal justice process, the legal steps your case will go through, how your public defender will handle your case, and what resources are available to help you and your family through this difficult time. You can pick up a copy in our office, or read the digital version.


NOTICE! Drivers License Reinstatement

Is your driver’s license suspended because you cannot pay court costs, fees, and fines? You may be eligible to get your license back for free.

Based on a July 2, 2018, federal court ruling, the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security will reinstate and reissue a driver’s license without charge to any person whose revocation is for failure to pay fines, fees, and other court costs on any non-driving offense. FIND OUT MORE

“I defend Nashville because I am Nashville…and until justice rolls down like water’ I will keep fighting and advocating for my community.”

LEARN ABOUT
Martesha L. Johnson

Chief Public Defender


OUR MISSION

The Mission of the Metropolitan Public Defender’s Office is to defend the liberty, honor, and constitutional rights of the individuals, of all ages, whose cases have been entrusted to us. Through zealous advocacy, we strive not only to deliver excellence in our representation of each and every client but also to stand with our clients and the community in working to create a more just, fair, and compassionate legal system.


Were you on probation in Rutherford Cty, TN?

Civil Rights Corps has reached a $14.3 million settlement in their class-action lawsuit against Rutherford County and PCC. Anyone who was on probation from October 2011 through March 2016 in Rutherford County qualifies as a class member who can recover a monetary award, and those on probation after that may qualify.

Civil Rights Corps wants to reach as many class members as possible, and they have asked for our help doing so. If you know of anyone who meets these criteria – including clients or former clients – please share this information with them.

Phone number to call: 1-888-805-9120
READ MORE


Learn how the community bail fund helps our clients avoid wealth-based detention. Need Help making bail? The Bail Fund also accepts applications from family and friends.

Do you have a loved one facing criminal charges? Participatory Defense is a way to be involved in advocating for their case. Learn about the work of Free Hearts and Participatory Defense.

Thank you to the Hume-Fogg High School Junior Classical League and Vandy Law for helping us offer comfort kits to our clients. These kits are available, first-come-first-serve, in our lobby through cold weather months.

DEFEND NASHVILLE Community Outreach is committed to providing the most current information to educate communities and citizens on their rights and the ever-changing laws that seek to trap people in the justice system. All people in the U.S., whether citizen or non-citizen, have certain rights under the U.S. Constitution and other laws. We are happy to join your organization’s event, panel, or provide an info table to discuss concerns about police stops, searches, gun laws, and what to do if you are arrested.  Interested in Chief Johnson or a Nashville Defender speaking at your next justice event, contact us.