The Maricopa County Office of the Public Defender protects the fundamental rights of all individuals by providing effective legal representation for indigent people facing criminal charges and mental health commitments, when appointed by the Maricopa County Superior and Justice Courts. The Office annually provides legal representation in over 50,000 cases for individuals who are not able to afford the services of private lawyers.
The Office of the Public Defender was established in 1965 and started with a handful of attorneys and staff. Today, in addition to over 210 Attorneys (several of whom are certified as Criminal Law Specialists by the Arizona State Bar), the Office employs over 220 support staff members including but not limited to Investigators, Paralegals, Mitigation Specialists, Legal Secretaries, Law Clerks, and Initial Services Specialists. The Office utilizes a team approach to provide the best quality representation to its clients.