The Steuben County Public Defender's Office provides legal representation to individuals in Criminal and Family Court proceedings who are unable to hire an attorney and meet the income eligibility requirements promulgated by the New York State Office of Indigent Legal Services. The Public Defender's Office is a branch of the Steuben County Government that was founded to protect the constitutional and statutory rights of all members of our community, regardless of their ability to afford private counsel.
The Steuben County Public Defender's Office is committed to:
- Providing our clients high quality legal services through compassionate representation and uncompromised advocacy
- Pursuing and achieving a fair and unbiased system of justice
- Partnering with our clients and communicating thoroughly to achieve the goal of true client-centered representation
- Respecting and aggressively representing the human worth and dignity of our clients with holistically inspired defense objectives
The Criminal Court Bureau
Our experienced Criminal Defenders represent financially qualified individuals charged with misdemeanor and felony level offenses in 39 local (Town, Village and City) Courts and 3 County Courts.
In 2021, the Steuben County Public Defender's Office represented individuals in 1,038 misdemeanor and 462 felony cases.
Applications for representation by an assigned Defender are available at arraignment in all Courts and at the Public Defender's Office, Monday through Friday between the hours of 9 am and 4:30 pm. This form is also available under the "Criminal Courts" tab on the left. Applications must be returned to the Court or Public Defender's office as soon as possible.
The Family Court Bureau
Our experienced Family Defenders represent financially qualified individuals in Custody, Visitation, Neglect and Abuse, Family Offense, Paternity and Child Support proceedings in County Court pursuant to the rules pertaining to the assignment of counsel under the New York State Family Court Act.
In 2021, the Steuben County Public Defender's Office represented individuals in 536 Family Court proceedings.
Applications for representation by an assigned Defender are available at all first appearances in the County Court and at the Public Defender's Office, Monday through Friday between the hours of 9 am and 4:30 pm. This form is also available under the "Family Courts" tab on the left. Applications must be returned to the Court or the office as soon as possible.
Should circumstances exist where the Steuben County Public Defender's Office is disqualified from representing an otherwise qualified applicant, that applicant's matter(s) will be transferred to the Steuben County Conflict Defender's Office and/or the Assigned Counsel Program for consideration.