Scotts Bluff County - Public Defender

We are a group of attorneys who are Court appointed to represent those people who are charged with crimes and who cannot otherwise afford to hire a private attorney. Our representation extends to all critical stages of the criminal prosecution and includes investigation, representation in Court and appeals. We assist our clients by providing them with accurate information concerning the charges and evidence against them and help advise them of their rights and provide them with legal advice regarding any other legal issues pertaining to their cases. Our clients make the final decision whether or not their cases go to Trial or whether or not they are settled in some other fashion. In addition to performing criminal defense duties, we also represent juveniles and parents in juvenile proceedings, people facing contempt proceedings, respondents in paternity cases and those brought before the Board of Mental Health.

Contact Information

Location

Court House - Ground Level
1725 10th Street
Gering, NE 69341

Office Hours

Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Closed through the lunch hour
Closed Weekends and Holidays

Contact

308 436-6678 - Main
308 436-1697 - Fax

Bernard J Straetker - Public Defender
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Richard L DeForge - Deputy Public Defender
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David S MacDonald - Deputy Public Defender
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Darin Knepper - Deputy Public Defender
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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get a Public Defender?
We only represent clients appointed by a Judge in criminal cases. Whether or not the Judge appoints our office depends on how serious the charges are and whether the Judge believes that you cannot afford to hire your own attorney.

I need a Public Defender to file for divorce, work out visitation and child support, or landlord/tenant problems. What can I do?
The Public Defender's office is only appointed to represent people in criminal matters (felonies and misdemeanors), contempt, paternity, mental health, or juvenile matters where either jail-time is possible, or the case involves some other liberty interest. This office also does appeals to the Nebraska Court of Appeals on criminial matters. If your matter deals with divorce or landlord/tenant problems, you will need to contact Legal Services at 2121 1st Avenue, Scottsbluff, Nebraska 69361, or telephone (308) 632-7476. On contempt matters in District Court, you will need to ask for a Court-appointed attorney by contacting the Court directly upon service of the contempt citation.

I forgot my Court date. What can I do?
If arraigned in County Court and our office is appointed, you are given a sheet of paper which lists the date, time and location of your next Court appearance. If not available, you can call our office at (308) 436-6678 and our support staff will be happy to look it up for you. If you are not represented by our office, you may call the Clerk of the County Court at (308) 436-6648.

Updated: 2013.02.19 - 12:00 MDT