About MN Public Defense

About Minnesota Public Defenders

Being treated fairly by the criminal justice system should not be a privilege of the rich. In 1963, the United States Supreme Court in Gideon v. Wainright recognized that the fundamental right to a fair trial requires an indigent person accused of a crime to have the assistance of counsel.

Minnesota has responded to this Constitutional mandate in a practical and cost-effective manner. Coordinated and funded by the Board of Public Defense, Minnesota Public Defenders represent indigent accused people in each of Minnesota's 87 counties.  Read More


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To provide excellent criminal and juvenile legal defense services to indigent clients through an independent, responsible and efficient public defender system.

State Public Defender

William Ward





Fourth District Chief Finalists

Fourth Judicial District Chief Public Defender Public Recommendation on Finalists



Public Defender services, on the trial and appellate level, are provided by regional offices located throughout the State of Minnesota.  Click on "Offices" above to view a list of the offices.

Staff Directory

To locate a specific staff member, click on "Staff Directory" above.