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Public Defender
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Mission Statement

Our Mission is to zealously protect the rights, liberties and dignity of all persons in Santa Barbara County and maintain the integrity and fairness of the American Justice System by providing the finest legal representation in the cases entrusted to us through compassionate and innovative advocacy with care and respect for our clients.  


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 25 different courtrooms in our Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, and Lompoc Superior Courts.

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