Office of the Public Defender
Stanislaus County Public Defender
Laura Arnold hails from Cleveland, Ohio. A graduate of the Ohio State University College of Law, Laura served a deputy public defender in San Diego County for approximately 17 years before becoming the lead attorney and supervisor of Riverside County Public Defender’s Writs & Appeals Unit for 5 years and, then, being named Public Defender for Stanislaus County, assuming office in February, 2019. Over the course of her career, Laura has trained California criminal, juvenile, and appellate defenders as well as forensic psychologists regarding a wide range of subjects. Over the past few years, Laura has been attorney of record in several landmark California Supreme Court cases, including In re William Taylor, et al., which invalidated the 2,000 foot residency restriction of Jessica's Law, and People v. Superior Court (Lara), which held that the juvenile law amendments of Proposition 57 apply retroactively to direct-filed cases which were not yet final on appeal on the initiative’s effective date. In 2013, Laura was named California Defender of the Year by the California Public Defenders Association. Currently, Laura chairs the Association’s Juvenile Defense/Youthful Offender Committee and Mental Health/Civil Commitment Committee and is a frequent author of amicus briefs filed in the California Supreme Court on behalf of the Association’s membership. Laura also serves as appointee to the California Judicial Council’s Criminal Law and Appellate Law Advisory Committees.