Public Defender

Functions

The Office of the Public Defender provides attorneys to indigent clients in the courts of McLean County as mandated by the U.S. Constitution, the Illinois Constitution, and Illinois law.

Providing Representation for the Accused

Representation by the public defender begins only after the accused person requests the appointment of counsel and the person provides proof of indigence to a court screening officer.

The court then, by written order, directs the public defender to represent the indigent person. The public defender is also charged, when appointed, with the representation of any indigent party in juvenile proceedings and some mental health proceedings.