The Venango County Office of Public Defender furnishes quality legal counsel to any person who is charged with a qualified criminal offense, and, for lack of funds as determined by office guidelines, is unable to obtain legal counsel. Eligibility for the Venango County Public Defender services is based on federal poverty guidelines, household income, household assets and responsibilities and the nature of the charges.
The Public Defender Act authorizes the Office of the Public Defender to provide legal counsel in the following matters:
- Where a person is charged with juvenile delinquency;
- Critical pretrial identification procedures;
- Preliminary hearings;
- State habeas corpus proceedings;
- State trials, including pretrial and post-trial motions;
- Superior Court appeals;
- Pennsylvania Supreme Court appeals;
- Post conviction hearings at the trial and appellate levels;
- Criminal extradition proceedings;
- Probation and parole violation hearings;
- Involuntary commitment under the Mental Health Procedures Act; and
- Any proceeding where personal liberty is in jeopardy.