Maricopa County Office of the Public Defender
About the Office

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Message from Public Defender James J. Haas

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.
Mission Statement

The mission of Office of the Public Defender is to provide quality legal representation to indigent individuals assigned to us by the court so that the fundamental legal rights of each member of the community are safeguarded.
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 in any of the local city courts, or in child-custody, bankruptcy, divorce, or other civil proceedings.

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).

Strategic Goals
Jim Hass - Maricopa County Public Defender
James J. Haas