The Public Defender's Office is an independent agency within the judicial branch of state government. The Public Defender for the Piedmont Judicial Circuit, operating through an intergovernmental agreement between Barrow County (47%), Jackson County (41%), and Banks County (12%) provides legal representation to indigent defendants in various cases. Those cases include cases prosecuted in the Superior Court where there is a possibility that a sentence of imprisonment or probation or suspension of sentence of imprisonment may be adjudged, hearings in the Superior Court on revocation of probation, cases prosecuted in the Juvenile Court where a child may face a disposition in a delinquency case of confinement, commitment, or probation, represents indigent defendants in Probate Court, and direct appeals from the above cases. This office also provides a team member for the Accountability Courts. The county, by state law, must provide this office with office space, utilities, telephone, supplies, interpreters, and other expenses.
Note: Beginning January 2021, the Circuit Public Defender will also provide representation to indigent defendants charged with misdemeanors in Barrow County.