The Public Defender’s office works to help you in a variety of ways in addition to fighting the charges and/or allegations that you may be facing in court. Aggressive litigation is important to your defense, and to the integrity of justice. Yet, your life goes on after we have completed litigation or resolution of the charges in your case. We know that, and there are some ways we can help your future be more successful.
If your case is over and you are trying to get things back on track, but your conviction is standing in your way, take a look at our New Leaf program.
If your case involves drug charges or is due to addiction, talk to your attorney about whether you may qualify for Prop 36/PC 1210 drug treatment or drug court. If you are struggling with a driving under the influence case with multiple convictions, talk to your attorney about whether you might qualify for DUI court. If you are living with the impacts of a mental health diagnosis, Orange County has several special ‘mental health’ courts which help provide support and tools for success while you are on probation. If you are a veteran struggling with your return from service, the veteran’s court may provide important support for you. If you are homeless, and cannot afford to pay any fines on your minor cases but want to move off the streets, homeless court and/or the homeless court parking forgiveness programmay be a solution for you.
Each of these special courts carries rigorous requirements for successful completion, so it is always important to discuss whether they may or may not be the right solution for you.
Public defenders are also available to provide support and advice in a variety of other ways. Public defenders volunteer at the cold weather shelter (Armory) for homeless and attend every Wednesday/Thursday (Santa Ana/Fullerton) evening to answer questions. We also participate in the annual Veterans Stand Down to provide legal advice and assistance to needy veterans. Finally, if you are on probation (for probation, mandatory supervision, post release community supervision (PCS)) or parole supervision, our Re-entry staff are available to help provide those supports that can help you successfully re-enter (linkage to shelter supports, social services, government benefits, medical and dental, veterans’ services, education, food bank referrals, and more).