Orange County Public Defender

Orange County Public Defender

Orange County PD office

How can I get an Orange County Public Defender?

In order to receive the services of the Public Defender in Orange County, you must typically (for misdemeanors) fill out a form for the court which lists all your income and assets. The judge then evaluates your form and decides if you are indigent, and should be appointed a Public Defender. The public defender is intended to protect the rights of, and give representation to, those that cannot afford an attorney.

If the public defender previously represented you, or if you were a witness in a case handled by their office, they may declare a conflict and refer you to the alternate defender’s office in Orange County.

Is the Orange County Public Defender free?

The Orange County Public Defender is paid for by the County of Orange.  The court may make a request to pay back the services of the PD that represented you if you are financially able.

Are the Orange County Public Defenders “real attorneys?”

Yes.  They are “real attorneys” no matter what you have heard from others.  They graduated law school, and took the bar exam, and are licensed, practicing lawyers, just like any private lawyer. In many cases, they are more experienced than private attorneys, with the opportunity to have much more trial experience.

How can I contact the Orange County Public Defender?

Ronald Y. Butler Public Defender Building
14 Civic Center Plaza
Santa Ana, CA 92701
Phone: (714) 834-2144
FAX: (714) 834-2729

If your case is assigned to a particular courthouse, use the phone number for that particular courthouse to contact your assigned public defender.


Our Mission: "To deliver outstanding client service, to provide fulfilling careers and professional satisfaction for our people, and to achieve financial success so that we can reward ourselves, grow, and give back to the community."