Public Defenders play an important role in our social fabric by insuring that those who can least afford legal representation in our Courts are fully protected. The constitutions of both the United States and the State of Indiana require that indigent persons charged with criminal offenses be provided effective representation at public expense at both the trial and appellate levels. In addition, case law and legislation have required the appointment of counsel in other areas. Without a system in place to provide for these needs, those who can least afford legal representation would have no defense, no protection.
In the Fall of 2000 the Vanderburgh County Public Defender Agency was created and became operational in January, 2001. The Agency has responsibility for the representation of indigent clients in all areas of Vanderburgh County Courts, where a person is entitled to an attorney as a matter of law. We have Attorneys assigned to the Circuit and Superior Courts Felony Divisions, Misdemeanor Court, Juvenile Court and all criminal appeals. In addition, Attorneys employed by the Agency handle termination of parental rights cases, children in need of services cases and mental health commitments. Our staff consists of:
Christal Hampton-Administrative Assistant
Full-Time Felony Division
Stephen Owens-Chief Public Defender
David Bunner-First Deputy Public Defender
Part-Time Felony Division
Juvenile Court Deliquency Cases
Juvenile Court-Chins/Termination/Paternity Cases
Our commitment is to provide experienced legal representation to all persons entitled to indigent representation as determined by a Court. If you have concerns about the manner in which your case is being handled by this office, you may contact the Chief Public Defender by mail to discuss your concerns.