Defender – Russ Montgomery
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.
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.
Defender handles ONLY criminal proceedings, which include:
1. Juvenile delinquency
2. Critical pretrial
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
8. PFA contempt hearings; and
9. Probation and parole
proceedings, including revocation thereof.
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.
YOU MUST APPLY TO OBTAIN OUR SERVICES. HERE IS WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO:
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.