The Los Angeles County Public Defender is a law office established and funded by the County of Los Angeles. The functions of the office are defined by the county charter and by California state law.
The attorneys and other staff employed by the office render legal services to individuals who are accused of public offenses, and who cannot afford to retain the services of a private attorney. We also represent any person under the age of 18 who is facing juvenile delinquency proceedings, or regarding whom the state has instituted wardship proceedings because of habitual truancy or incorrigibility.
We represent individuals who are involuntarily detained in medical facilities in a variety of mental health proceedings because of purported mental disabilities, those as to whom conservatorship proceedings have been instituted because they are alleged to be gravely disabled, and patients whose competency to refuse medical treatment is challenged.
Finally, we represent individuals who are subject to contempt proceedings for violation of court orders, such as child support and child visitation or custody orders. More detail regarding the functions can be found in the frequently asked questions section on this website.