The Calhoun County Public Defender Office provides constitutionally-mandated representation for all eligible individuals in Calhoun County who are charged with a crime and cannot afford an attorney. This Office is funded through a combination of State and local resources. The Calhoun County Public Defender Office began accepting cases in September 2019, and 2020 was its first full year in operation.
Numbers at a Glance
|Total arraignments with a public defender||Total new misdemeanor cases||Total new felony cases|
|Total cases with investigator assistance, in 2020|
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and in partnership with the courts, the Public Defender's Office quickly adapted to the use of remote technology for the majority of client meetings and court hearings. These changes have enabled continued access to the justice system while fully complying with health and safety guidelines.2020 Successes
Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Public Defender's Office continued to represent clients, build the office, and introduce new programs. One new program now available to everyone in Calhoun County is the right to be represented by a public defender at their first court appearance or arraignment.
Another significant new program fully implemented this year is the use of in-house investigators to assist clients with their cases. Historically, public defense services have been severely under resourced. This program represents significant progress toward addressing that imbalance. We are committed to the principle that fair and equitable outcomes in our justice system depend on both sides having strong effective representation.