With 101 years of continuous service to the citizens of Los Angeles County, the Office of the Los Angeles County Public Defender is proud of its stellar legal representation for indigent criminal defendants, juveniles and persons facing incarceration in Mental Health proceedings. We provide these services in more than 300,000 matters in the Superior Court throughout Los Angeles County, as well as in State and Federal Appellate Courts.
The United States and California Constitutions mandate the appointment of counsel in criminal cases for indigent persons. Fifty years before the U.S Supreme Court mandate, Los Angeles County was providing these services through our office.
The determination of whether a defendant qualifies for representation may be made by the Public Defender or the Court. The standard used to determine indigence examines all aspects of a defendant’s finances. If individuals have sufficient financial assets to afford private counsel, they are not eligible for legal represention by the Public Defender. At the conclusion of the case, the Court may assess a defendant the cost of legal representation provided by the Public Defender or other appointed counsel based on the defendant’s ability to pay.
We are proud of our 34 offices throughout L.A. County. We are a career office with diversity of gender, ethnicity and cultural heritage. All Deputy Public Defenders are attorneys, fully licensed to practice law by the California State Bar. The primary objective of the department is to provide outstanding legal representation in a cost effective manner.
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about our office.