About the Office of Public Defense

The Office of Public Defense strives to meet three main mandates:

Perform indigency screening to ensure Constitutional as well as cost-effective assignment of counsel at public expense:

  • Interviewers use state standards and federal guidelines
  • Interviewers conduct screenings in-office and at the County Jail
  • Once screened, cases for indigent defendants are referred to the Public Defender Association or conflict counsel for representation

Perform pre-trial interviews and report to judges verified information for decisions on whether to hold defendants in the county jail prior to their trial:

  • Interviews are conducted at the jail - Monday through Friday
  • Verified information includes ties to community and criminal history

Represent defendants on specialized calendars in order to provide constitutional protections while containing costs, including:

  • Involuntary mental health commitments
  • Superior Court probation violations
  • Felonies expedited as gross misdemeanors
  • In-custody hearing coverage

Public Defender Eligibility Screenings: 

Hours of availability:
8:30 am - 11:45 am and 1:00 pm - 3:45 pm

You must arrive within these times to be screened
(Monday - Friday Closed Holidays)