What We Do

Public Defender’s Functions

  • The public defender provides and promotes quality legal representation to indigent defendants facing a loss of liberty in Ontario County.
  • The public defender protects the community's interest in the fair administration of justice.
  • The public defender provides constitutionally mandated legal representation in criminal matters to people who cannot afford to pay for their own lawyer.
  • The public defender handles matters involving felonies, misdemeanors, appeals, parole, probation, vehicle and traffic, and some simple violations of law in Ontario County Court, Geneva, and Canandaigua City Court, Drug Court, and the various Justice Courts in Ontario County.
  • The public defender provides educational and outreach services to schools and community organizations.
  • The public defender offers training to staff and other attorneys who handle criminal matters in Ontario County.
  • The public defender advises the county administrator and the Board of Supervisors on issues involving criminal justice services.
  • The public defender advocates for reform and innovation throughout the criminal justice system.