Public Defender

Mission Statement

Yavapai LogoThe mission of the Yavapai County Public Defender is to fully provide the fundamental Constitutional protections afforded by law to our indigent clients, when appointed by the Court, in criminal, juvenile, mental health or appellate proceedings.

Pursuant to the requirements of the U.S. Constitution, the Yavapai County Public Defender's Office is responsible for the court-appointed representation of persons not financially able to afford an attorney who are facing the loss of their liberty through criminal charges, juvenile proceedings, post conviction reviews, or involuntary commitment hearings.

It is the goal of the Office to fully protect the rights of our clients, to ensure that all of our constitutional requirements are met, to work with others in the justice system to ensure the fair and responsible administration of justice, and to meet our mandates in a professional, ethical, and fiscally responsible manner.

The Office is comprised of a Criminal Trial and a Juvenile Division, with offices in Prescott and the Verde Valley, and includes attorneys, investigators, paralegals, legal secretaries, and records personnel.

The Public Defender is also the administrator for all court-appointed criminal and juvenile contracts for indigents, when the Public Defender Office is unable to assume representation.

Criminal Trial Division

Represents indigent defendants, when appointed by the Court, at all stages of the criminal proceedings from initial appearance through trial or sentencing on felony and misdemeanor charges in Superior and Justice Courts. A component of this division is the civil representation of persons facing the loss of their liberty through mental health commitments or sexually violent person proceedings.

Juvenile Division

Represents and protects the rights of children (and/or parents) in both delinquency and dependency petitions in the Superior Court, when appointed by the Court.


Administers all contracts for private attorneys responsible for indigent Court-appointed criminal trial, juvenile, and appellate or post-conviction proceedings, on matters not assigned to Public Defender attorneys.

Program Goals

  • Protect the rights of the indigent accused.
  • Guarantee equal protection under the law.
  • Enhance the professionalism and productivity of the criminal defense bar.
  • Pursue the development of cost-effective alternatives to incarceration.
  • Perform statutory obligations in a fiscally responsible manner.
  • Provide community education in areas of criminal justice and constitutional rights.