About Us

The Public Defender’s Office for the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida (Miami-Dade County) handles about 65,000 cases each year, with about 15,000 cases open at any given time. It is divided into several major divisions: Appeals, Circuit Court (felonies), County Court (misdemeanors and criminal traffic), Children’s Defense (delinquency/dependency court), and Behavioral Health (Baker Act, drug court, mental health court, and veterans’ treatment court). Office operations include an executive office, business office, office-wide training, IT unit and several specialized litigation-related units: capital litigation, early representation, domestic representation, indefinite civil commitment, mitigation and intervention, and investigations.

The Public Defender is an elected official who has a constitutional duty to provide legal representation to people in danger of losing their liberty and who cannot afford to hire a private attorney. To carry out his constitutional duty, the public defender is assisted by:

  • Assistant public defenders
  • Mitigation and Intervention specialists
  • Secretaries, receptionists and clerks
  • Paralegals
  • Client interviewers
  • Investigators
  • IT personnel
  • Budget and finance personnel
  • Administrative personnel
  • Law librarian
  • Law school interns
  • Volunteer attorneys