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Public Defender
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Administration & Support
Adult Legal Services
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Mission Statement

To provide constitutionally mandated professional legal representation of the highest quality to all clients at the least expense to the County in an environment that motivates and enables all employees to share this mission.

About the Department

The Santa Barbara County Public Defender’s Office helps the County meet its obligation to provide effective and capable representation to County residents who cannot afford to hire a lawyer. The law requires the Public Defender:


Defend adults charged with crimes triable in the Superior Court;

Defend persons charged with Death Penalty crimes;

Defend minors in the Juvenile Court; 

Defend persons charged with Contempt of Court;

Protect County residents who can no longer care for themselves for reasons such as: physically disabled, suffer from mental illness, Alzheimer’s, or dementia; 

Go to Court on behalf of persons claiming to be held unlawfully in jail or prison, and on behalf of persons held in mental health facilities.


Each day, the Public Defender appears in 15 different courtrooms in our Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, and Lompoc Superior Courts.

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