Blair County Public Defender’s Office


Chief Public Defender – Russ Montgomery

Mission Statement

The Mission of the Office of the Public Defender is to provide legal representation to defendants by safeguarding fundamental individual rights and to guarantee protection afforded by the United States Constitution.

Right to Counsel

Every person arrested or accused of an offense in Pennsylvania has the right to the assistance of counsel for his defense.The right to counsel includes the right to representation even if the accused is indigent and cannot afford counsel.Although entitled to free counsel, an indigent defendant does not have the right to defense counsel of his/her choice.

The Public Defender handles ONLY criminal proceedings, which include:

1. Juvenile delinquency proceedings

2. Critical pretrial identification proceedings

3. Preliminary hearings

4. Common Pleas Court Trial, from pretrial motions through post-trial motions

5. Post conviction proceedings at both the trial and appellate levels

6. Superior Court and Pennsylvania Supreme Court appeals

7. Criminal extradition proceedings

8. PFA contempt hearings; and

9. Probation and parole proceedings, including revocation thereof.

Representation by the public defender’s office MAY also occur in the following situations:

  • In a prosecution for a summary offense, which carries a jail as a sentence. This typically occurs in cases where there is a citation for driving during a driver’s license suspension.
  • At a magistrate office, contempt proceedings for non-payment of fines/costs. Also known as a payment determination hearings.
  • At the Common Pleas Court (main courthouse), contempt proceedings for non-payment of fines/costs.


1. Get an application at our office or click on the link in "Resouces" (print it out);

2. Drop the application at our office; OR

3. Bring it to the magistrate office for your court date; OR

4. Fax the application to 814-693-3259; OR

5. Scan or take pictures of the application and email it to us; OR

6. Last, standard mail it to us.

If you have questions, please call or email at the email listed above.


Blair County Public Defender's Office

423 Allegheny St. STE 344
Hollidaysburg PA 16648-3255

Phone: (814) 693-3255
Fax: (814) 693-3259