Public Defender Definition and Legal Meaning
On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Public Defender, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.
What is Public Defender?
They are the lawyers or attorney who have been appointed by the government to counsel or represent the criminal defendants who are unable to meet the legal expenses of the private assistance. These attornies work for non profir organisation which are manged by the government.
History and Meaning of Public Defender
The concept of the public defender originated in the United States in the 1930s, during the Great Depression, when it became clear that many criminal defendants could not afford to hire lawyers to represent them in court. In response, states began to create public defender systems, in which attorneys are appointed to represent indigent defendants. Today, virtually every state has a public defender system, and many large cities have their own public defender offices.
Examples of Public Defender
- John was arrested for a misdemeanor and couldn't afford a private attorney, so he was assigned a public defender to represent him in court.
- Maria was facing serious charges and was grateful to have a highly experienced public defender assigned to her case.
- The state's public defender system has been criticized for being underfunded and understaffed, resulting in overworked attorneys and poor outcomes for clients.
- The local public defender's office has a website with information about eligibility for their services, how to apply for representation, and resources for clients.
Legal Terms Similar to Public Defender
- Legal aid: Legal aid organizations provide free or low-cost legal assistance to people who cannot afford private attorneys.
- Pro bono: Pro bono attorneys provide legal services for free, often on a voluntary basis.
- Indigent: An indigent person is one who is unable to pay for basic necessities like food, housing, and medical care. In the legal context, it generally refers to someone who cannot afford to hire a private attorney.