Public Defender Services (San Luis Obispo Defenders)

The County of San Luis Obispo is required to provide public legal representation for individuals charged with a crime in state court who are unable to afford a private attorney. Public defender services may also be provided to juveniles and in conservatorship cases.

These services are provided through contracts with three legal firms that provide primary, conflict, and secondary conflict public defender services. When all three firms have a case-related conflict, the County reimburses attorneys appointed by the Court from the criminal defense bar. The County also contracts for specialized legal defense services for mentally disordered offenders at Atascadero State Hospital. 


Public Defender Reimbursement (for attorneys)

Attorneys appointed by the Court to serve as a Public Defender may request reimbursement from the County for certain types of expenses.

Public Defender Services (for individuals)

Public defenders are attorneys provided by County government to represent people who are charged with a crime but can't afford legal representation. Juveniles and individuals with conservatorship cases may also receive these services. The County contracts with private attorneys to provide Public Defender services.

The County’s primary Public Defender firm is San Luis Obispo Defenders.

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