THE RIGHT TO COUNSEL
A person who cannot afford counsel in a criminal case is entitled to court-appointed counsel. So said the United States Supreme Court in 1963, in a landmark decision captioned Gideon v. Wainwright. Since Gideon was decided, the States have implemented Public Defender offices throughout the country. The Office of the Yuma County Public Defender has expanded to include representation for involuntary mental health commitments, juvenile dependency actions, juvenile delinquency and incorrigibility proceedings, appeals and post conviction relief, probation revocation hearings, and misdemeanor and felony cases.
Our office is staffed by twelve attorneys, an investigator and several support staff. Our attorneys are trained professionals with ongoing mandatory continued legal education. They have obtained extensive courtroom experience in significant trials and hearings. Many have worked as former prosecutors, some have practiced privately, but all have committed to zealously advocate the cause of their clients with effective, diligent, and quality representation. We are guided by strong standards of professionalism and ethical rules, thus ensuring our clients their constitutional right to counsel in their criminal case.
The Office of the Public Defender also depends on the excellent work of our support staff to accomplish the goals of providing quality representation and justice for all those charged with a crime. Without them, we could not be the effective organization we are.