Definition of public defender in US English:

public defender


US Law
  • A lawyer employed at public expense in a criminal trial to represent a defendant who is unable to afford legal assistance.

    • ‘A parole petition had to be agreed upon by the public defender, district attorney's office, and the presiding judge.’
    • ‘The public defenders representing Workman at trial told him his guilt was a foregone conclusion.’
    • ‘Texas has no public defenders at all; defendants must rely on court-appointed lawyers who are given few resources with which to mount a defense.’
    • ‘And most are defended not by private attorneys but by public defenders or appointed lawyers.’
    • ‘Judges also often assign public defenders who have no experience in death penalty cases, such as tax lawyers.’


public defender

/ˈpəblɪk dəˈfɛndər/