A defendant is defined as a person arrested and charged with a crime, and is presumed innocent until proven guilty, either by their decision to plead guilty or by a guilty verdict rendered by a judge or jury at the end of a trial.

All criminal defendants have the right to hire a licensed attorney of their choice to present a defense and advocate for their constitutional rights. If a defendant cannot afford a private attorney, a lawyer from the local public defenders’ office will be provided upon order of the court.

The court also will provide language interpreters for criminal defendants unable to communicate in English.

For more information, please visit the Orleans Parish Public Defender’s Office website.