This office represents individuals charged with a criminal offense in Adams County. The accused person must request the appointment of counsel by the Court and file an affidavit of assets and liabilities to show financial need. Once this is done, the Court directs that the accused is to be represented by the Public Defender's Office.
Clients do not have a personal choice in the selection of counsel; Public Defenders are assigned by courtrooms. All conversations between a client and a Public Defender or an assigned attorney, are protected by the attorney-client privilege.
Such representation is also available for persons named as a party in juvenile delinquency or neglect actions, persons subject to mental health commitment actions, and paternity cases. Public Defender representation is not available for those facing non-jail-able village ordinances or petty traffic offenses.
U.S. Constitution established that persons accused of committing
a crime have the right to be represented by an attorney. The
U.S. Supreme Court has interpreted this right to mean that if a
defendant cannot afford to hire an attorney, the court will
appoint one to represent him or her.
1972, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that this right applies in
all cases where the defendant faces a jail term, whether the
case is a felony or a misdemeanor.