"It is fundamental that justice should be the same, in substance and availability, without regard to economic status."
- U.S. Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell, Jr.
In 1963, in the case of Gideon v. Wainwright, the United States Supreme Court ruled that all people charged with crimes, even those who cannot pay, have the right to a lawyer. After the Gideon decision, Delaware established one of the nation’s first statewide Public Defender Offices.
In the Delaware Public Defender’s Office, our goal is to provide quality representation equal to or better than any private attorney or law firm. It is our duty and privilege to defend our clients.
The Delaware Public Defender’s Office employs over 70 skilled Assistant Public Defenders who average eighteen years experience as practicing lawyers. We are experienced trial lawyers and members of the Delaware Bar sworn to protect the rights of our clients. A full staff of investigators, secretaries, social workers and mitigation specialists supplements the services of our lawyers.
Our lawyers and staff work to defend clients in all Delaware trial courts in cases which could possibly result in a jail sentence. In addition, our lawyers pursue appeals to the Delaware Supreme Court. We have offices in Wilmington, Dover and Georgetown.
The Public Defender’s Office strives to foster respect for all individuals. Our personnel are committed to bias free decision making in all aspects of our business, including our hiring policy, services provided to our clients and establishment and enforcement of workplace rules. The management and staff never consider age, color, disability, gender, ethnicity, race, nationality, religion or sexual orientation as bases for the many decisions and operations of the Public Defender’s Office.
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