In 1963, the United States Supreme Court ruled unanimously in the case Gideon v. Wainwright that states are required to provide legal counsel to indigent defendants charged with a felony. It would take North Carolina officials seven years to determine that the best way to comply with this ruling was for the state to employ full-time, highly trained, professional criminal defense attorneys.
The Office of the Public Defender provides legal representation to over 4,000 indigent clients each year with criminal allegations ranging from juvenile delinquency to capital murder. We are dedicated to the belief that every person, regardless of the accusation against them, deserves a thorough zealous defense and to have their rights protected.
Our mission is to protect and defend the rights of our clients through effective, vigorous, and compassionate legal advocacy. We strive to provide the highest level of legal advocacy for each of our clients.