public defender


Definition of public defender

: a lawyer usually holding public office whose duty is to defend accused persons unable to pay for legal assistance

Examples of public defender in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Steiner said when the trial date was originally set, Jason Tate of the Lincoln County Public Defender’s Office was on the defense team with Allison Poor with the state public defender’s office., "The trial is set to begin in February and The Daily Leader reported that Circuit Judge David Strong signed an order Thursday to move it to neighboring Pike County, where the courtroom is larger.," 18 Nov. 2019 Eligibility for public defender representation turns on several factors, including income, family status, other assets and the nature of the charges, said Thomas Reed, regional attorney manager for the State Public Defender's Office. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Man charged in acid attack hate crime ordered for mental evaluation," 15 Nov. 2019 The oversight unit, public defender agency and Office of Public Advocacy fall under the department. Becky Bohrer, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska public defender agency review recommends changes," 5 Nov. 2019 Banks stepped in from San Francisco’s aggressive public defender’s office. Lauren Smiley, The Atlantic, "The Porch Pirate of Potrero Hill Can’t Believe It Came to This," 1 Nov. 2019 On Monday, Holloway allegedly attacked public defender Michael Davidow in a secured interview room at the jail in Manchester, according to court documents cited by NBC Boston reported. Phil Helsel, NBC News, "Suspect in New Hampshire wedding shooting accused of beating public defender at jail," 23 Oct. 2019 McDonald’s lawyer, Robert Flory of the Orange County public defender’s office, declined to comment Tuesday. Julia Sclafani, Daily Pilot, "Laguna Beach woman was decapitated and son admitted to killing, police document says," 17 Sep. 2019 Russo said the group came to an agreement that a report identifying low-level offenders will be done every day and sent to all judges, the prosecutor’s office and public defender. Adam Ferrise,, "Mass bond hearings for non-violent Cuyahoga County Jail inmates scrapped, but new plan arises to reduce population," 23 Aug. 2019 The county will partner with Neighborhood Defender Service, a Harlem public defense practice, to open a Detroit public defender office this fall, according to a June 13 statement from Wayne County Executive Warren Evans. Emma Keith, Detroit Free Press, "Wayne County ups legal resources with new public defender office," 13 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'public defender.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of public defender

1822, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for public defender

Time Traveler

The first known use of public defender was in 1822

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Statistics for public defender

Last Updated

4 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Public defender.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 15 December 2019.

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More Definitions for public defender

public defender


English Language Learners Definition of public defender

US : a lawyer who is paid by the government to defend people who are accused of a crime and are unable to pay for a private lawyer

public defender


Legal Definition of public defender

: a lawyer usually holding public office who represents criminal defendants unable to pay for legal assistance

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