Who We Are
In the landmark 1963 case of Gideon v. Wainwright, the U. S. Supreme Court interpreted the Constitution and held that a fundamental and essential prerequisite to a fair criminal justice system is the right to be defended by competent and effective lawyers. The Court stated, "… reason and reflection require us to recognize that in our adversary system of criminal justice, any person haled into court, who is too poor to hire a lawyer, cannot be assured a fair trial unless counsel is provided for him. This seems to us to be an obvious truth."
The Stanislaus County Public Defender's Office provides legal services to adult, indigent persons accused of felony and misdemeanor criminal violations; juveniles prosecuted for alleged conduct that would be criminal if they were adults; proposed conservatees in mental health(conservatorship) cases; and other persons whose liberty may be affected by the government.