1. What is an Alternate Public Defender?
Frequently Asked Questions
County of Los Angeles Alternate Public Defender
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An Alternate Public Defender is an attorney employed by the County of Los Angeles and assigned to the Alternate Public Defender's Office. APD attorneys represent persons charged with a crime who cannot afford to hire a private attorney and where the Public Defender has a conflict of interest. This situation most typically arises where more than one person is charged with a crime in the same case. The Public Defender can only represent one person in those types of cases since each person charged with a crime is entitled to have their own lawyer devoted to protecting their interests in the case. If the other person or persons are indigent, the court must appoint other counsel to represent them and that is typically an Alternate Public Defender.
2. What is the difference between an Alternate Public Defender and a Public
The Alternate Public Defenders Office is a second public defender office created by the County Board of Supervisors to handle cases where the regular Public Defenders Office has a conflict of interest. An Alternate Public Defender is an attorney who works for and handles cases assigned to the Alternate Public Defenders Office. A Public Defender is an attorney who works for and handles cases assigned to the Public Defenders Office. Both are highly qualified, trained attorneys who specialize in criminal defense. All APD and PD lawyers have completed law school, and passed the California State Bar exam and are licensed by the State Bar to practice law in California.