What We Do
Our criminal defense attorneys represent people charged with misdemeanor and felony crimes. We have more trial experience than any law firm in Oklahoma, and we measure our success in lives saved, freedom won, and rights protected.
Juvenile focuses on different types of cases that involve children under the age of 18 (minors). Juvenile Deprived matters involve cases related to the abuse and/or neglect of a minor, while Juvenile Delinquency matters involve violations of criminal laws by a minor.
The role of Child Advocacy Division attorneys is to advocate for the legal interests and expressed preferences of their clients. The attorneys of the Child Advocacy Division of the Tulsa County Public Defender’s Office are appointed to represent minor children in domestic, guardianship and adoption cases.
The Appellate Division handles a variety of appellate issues. These include reviewing felony and misdemeanor trial convictions, revocation of suspended sentences, acceleration of deferred sentences, and denial of applications to withdraw guilty pleas.
Frequently Asked Questions About Our Attorneys
How can attorneys defend someone they think is guilty?
First of all, our clients charged with crimes are presumed innocent. Everyone deserves a defense, whether that person appears to be guilty or not. No person is legally guilty unless they have been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by a jury, or have entered a plea of guilty that has been accepted by a judge. Without criminal defense attorneys, the accused would be left to the mercy of the State, who know nothing more about our clients than what is alleged in police reports. Defending the Constitutional rights of our clients is a privilege and a duty that every attorney in this office takes seriously.
Are you real lawyers?
Yes. Our attorneys graduated from law school and passed the same bar exam as other lawyers. Many of the attorneys in our office were partners in law firms before becoming public defenders.
Do you work for the State?
No. The District Attorney’s Office, or the Prosecutor, is the State – they try to convict our clients. Our job is to defend our clients from them.
How are Public Defenders paid?
Our salary is controlled by the Oklahoma Supreme Court. Our attorneys are on a salary, and we are paid the same every month no matter how many cases we are assigned and no matter what the outcome of those cases may be. We receive no particular benefit from working out a deal or from going to trial. Our pay approximates that of district attorneys.
Why would someone choose to be a Public Defender?
There are many reasons people apply for the opportunity to work at this office: belief in the Constitution and the premise that every person’s rights deserve to be protected; a desire to spend a career practicing law without having to worry about clients’ ability to pay; and the camaraderie that comes from working with a group of people dedicated with the highest principles of the law and of compassion are some of the reasons named most often.