About the Office

Message From the Public Defender


Welcome to the Maricopa County Public Defender’s Office. Our office was established in 1965 to provide legal representation for poor people facing the loss of their liberty in the justice system. We ensure that the right to counsel envisioned by the United States and Arizona Constitutions is realized.

Our office is dedicated to the basic American ideal that the quality of justice a person receives should never depend upon how much money he or she has. Our attorneys and staff strive to provide high quality legal representation to our clients, and believe that defending the rights of our clients protects the rights of all members of our community.
  1. Areas of Practice
  2. Mission Statement
  3. Strategic Goals

Areas of Practice


Public Defenders are appointed by the Court on limited matters to protect the rights of the accused and those at risk of loss of liberty. We represent individuals on felonies, certain misdemeanors, probation violations, and appeals when the Court has determined that the individual is not able to afford to hire an attorney.

Our Office is not authorized to provide representation on matters:
  • Bankruptcy
  • Child custody
  • Divorce
  • In any of the local city courts
  • Other civil proceedings

Service Mandate


Our services are mandated by the 6th and 14th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution; Gideon v. Wainwright, 83 S.Ct. 792 (1963); Art. 2, §24 of the Arizona Constitution; A.R.S. §§11-581, 587 (Public Defender Enabling Act) and A.R.S. §36.545.04(A).