public defender

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Public Defender

An attorney appointed by a court or employed by the government to represent indigent defendants in criminal actions.


Right to Counsel.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

public defender

n. an elected or appointed public official (usually of a county), who is an attorney regularly assigned by the courts to defend people accused of crimes who cannot afford a private attorney. In larger counties the public defender has a large case load, numerous deputy public defenders and office staff. In each Federal Judicial District there is also a federal public defender, and some states have a state public defender to supervise the provision of attorneys to convicted indigents for appeals.

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.

public defender

a lawyer provided by the state to represent a person accused of a crime. Clearly, where there is respect for the human right of a fair trial, there has to be a separation of powers between the public defender and the prosecution - something that is difficult where there maybe a similar ‘civil service’ type of career structure and movement of individuals between divisions. They are well known in the USA and the system is the subject of an experiment in Scotland. It is now provided for in English legislation and the precise system is a matter of consultation. See CRIMINAL DEFENCE SERVICE.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006
References in periodicals archive ?
The Attorney General's office also claims it sent an email to the public defender's counsel on May 6 but received no reply.
Mehn also clarifies that there are no public defenders in magisterial courts except in circuit courts where this service is practiced.
"[] Wilson provides no support for appellant's contention that section 611.21 provides a 'safety valve' for interpreter services when the public defender has depleted its budget," Cleary wrote.
The 22 attorney's in the Public Defender's Superior Court Bureau handled 4,220 felonies in 2018.
The caseload controversy has bled into local politics during this election cycle: Leah Shapiro, who has been a juvenile public defender in Harris County since 2011, is running as a Democrat against Schneider for his seat on the 315th Juvenile Court.
Public Defender Joy Gossman said Simba brings a calm and accepting presence to stressful situations at the Depke complex.
The exceptions state that the public defenders must be restricted from having access to confidential information relating to each other's cases and that they must retain total control over what happens in their client's cases, independent of the office.
When public defender offices don't have time to investigate cases, file motions for discovery, or do any of the rudimentary legwork involved in preparing for trial, it leaves defendants at an enormous disadvantage.
(35) The Court's holdings in Frye and Lafler are implicated in the public defender context because a public defender who has not had time to meet with her client cannot adequately advise the client about a plea bargain.
My realization forced me to understand how the public defender experience forever changes the professional personas and personal values of students and new attorneys.
The main goal is to consider whether defendants who are represented by the public defender are disadvantaged at trial.