Types of Cases Handled

Adult Criminal Defense
Criminal cases are started by charges filed in 1 of the 8 District Judge offices in Cumberland County. Each District Judge receives applications from accused individuals for the appointment of a Public Defender. Once appointed, Public Defenders will provide representation from the first hearing to the last appeal. A Public Defender is available in each District Judge office 1 day each week to represent clients at hearings. There is also a continuing opportunity for defendants to apply for representation by a Public Defender in the County Court.

Juvenile Court
Juvenile Court proceedings are normally started with a referral (filing) to the Cumberland County Juvenile Probation Department. A Public Defender is routinely provided for juveniles without a formal application to the court. Only the juvenile's resources (without regard to the parents' resources) are considered in determining eligibility. 1 Assistant Public Defender is specifically assigned to represent juveniles. That attorney may be contacted at the Public Defender Office.

Contempt of Court
Individuals are frequently brought to court and charged with contempt of court for failing to obey a court order. This may be in the context of court orders for support, custody, protective orders, or other less common orders. The threat of jail triggers a constitutional right to counsel, and representation is available from the Public Defender Office.

Revocations of Probation or Parole

Individuals on probation or parole who are charged with violating the conditions of their probation or parole are represented by Public Defenders in the revocation cases.