Public Defender

Welcome To The Official Website Of The Dallas County Public Defender's Office

In the landmark case, Gideon v. Wainwright, 371 U.S. 335 (1963), the U. S. Supreme Court required that states provide attorneys for indigent defendants accused of a crime. The Dallas County Public Defender’s Office (DCPDO) has been providing effective legal representation to those who cannot afford a private retained attorney since 1983. It is one of the largest public defender offices of its kind in the entire state of Texas.

The DCPDO provides effective client centered legal representation for indigent clients in the Dallas County courts. The Office has grown incrementally from its inception in 1983 to its present state in 2024 as the premier model for indigent defense and holistic representation in the State of Texas. The DCPDO is comprised of: Adult Misdemeanor and Felony Trial Divisions; an Appellate Division; a Mental Health and Special Programs Division; a Capital Murder Division; an Actual Innocence and Exoneration Division; a Juvenile Division; a Child Protection Division; a Family Law Division; an Investigative Unit and Administrative Support Division that includes secretaries, paralegals, legal assistants, social workers, mental health case managers, office administrators and an interpreter, with a total of 179 employees.

As guardians of the presumption of innocence, it is our duty to protect and defend our clients and uphold the Constitutions of the United States and the great state of Texas. In the unsullied words of Governor Roy Barnes, “The law should be a shield for the weak and powerless, not a club for the powerful.”

We are committed to making sure that justice prevails. I invite you to explore our website and if you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact our office.

Paul Blocker

Interim Chief Public Defender

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good people do nothing.”

- Edmund Burke