San Diego In Focus
Public Defender

Public Defender

The Public Defender is responsible for providing legal representation to indigent persons accused of crimes including adults and juveniles charged with felonies such as murder, robbery, rape, assaults, drug offenses, or harm to property. The department also represents indigent adults and juveniles who are charged with misdemeanor offenses and provides legal advice to all persons at arraignment unless retained counsel represents them.


Maintained the number of elapsed days between admission and sentencing in juvenile cases at 28 days or less to accelerate rehabilitation

Sealed 100% of requests from juvenile clients to assist in clearing their records to gain employment or participate in training and/or education programs

Filed 544 misdemeanor and 549 felony expungement requests to help clients obtain meaningful employment

Provided 72,622 volunteer hours

Resolved 90% of misdemeanor cases and 65% of felony cases prior to trial or preliminary hearing (when doing so benefitted the client more than litigation)

Completed 87% of mental health treatment plans within 2 weeks of referral for referred individuals about to be released from custody


Public Defender