The Pima County Legal Defender’s Office represents indigent individuals upon court appointment in all felony cases, direct appeal and Rule 32 post-conviction matters, and extradition hearings. Individuals charged with criminal offenses which occur within the boundaries of Pima County may also be assigned to either the Pima County Public Defender's Office or to the Office of Court Appointed Counsel.
The Legal Defender's Office was established in 1987 by the Pima County Board of Supervisors to defend those accused of felony criminal offenses that, for reason of conflict of interest, prior representation, or overload, the Pima County Public Defender’s Office cannot handle. Like the Public Defender’s Office, we represent adult individuals who are entitled to court-appointed counsel for felony offenses (or juveniles whose cases are transferred to adult court), criminal appeals, and other types of post-conviction relief matters. In representing its clients, the Legal Defender’s Office provides full-range legal representation that includes client visitation if the client is in-custody and appointments if the client is out-of-custody; pre-trial work (for example: preparation of various legal motions depending on the client’s and the case’s particular situation, follow-up court appearances to argue those motions, witness interviews, and case investigation); negotiation of plea agreements; trials; sentencing hearings; fugitive warrant proceedings; direct appeals and other post-conviction relief; and assistance with other aspects of felony case representation (modifications to probation conditions, reinstatement of civil rights, and other proceedings).
Our mission is to provide highly competent and effective legal representation for individuals accused of criminal offenses in cases brought before the Pima County Superior Court or Arizona Appeals Courts, to insure the protection of our clients’ state and federal constitutional rights, including the right to liberty, effective representation, and due process throughout the criminal proceedings.
To fulfill our mission, we not only have well-trained and experienced attorneys, but also well-trained and experienced investigators, paralegals, mitigation specialists, secretaries, office support specialists, legal research clerks, transcribers, and interns.