|The Office of Public Defender, Second Judicial Circuit, came
into existence in 1963 following the United States Supreme
Courtís decision in Gideon
v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335 (1963), holding that the United States Constitution
required the state to supply lawyers for those criminal defendants who could not afford to
hire counsel. Originally, the Public Defenders responsibilities were to represent
indigents accused of noncapital felonies. Through case law and statutes, the Public
Defenders duties have grown, and now include:
Representing every indigent citizen charged with a crime, felony or
misdemeanor, in the Circuit and County courts of Franklin, Gadsden, Jefferson, Leon,
Liberty and Wakulla counties in any case that involves the possibility of incarceration.
Representing juveniles charged with delinquency in the Juvenile Division
of the six counties of the circuit.
Representing indgient persons in civil commitment proceedings in the
Circuit Courts of the six counties, as well as in administrative proceedings at Florida
State Hospital in Chattahoochee.
Representing indigent persons in civil commitment proceedings involving
alleged sexually violent predators in cases arising in the six counties of the circuit.
Representing persons who are appealing their convictions, involuntary
commitments or delinquency adjudications obtained in the Circuit Courts of the 32 counties
within the jurisdiction of the District Court of Appeal, First District of Florida as well
as in the Supreme Court of Florida and occasionally the federal courts.
The Public Defender is elected for a term of four
years and runs for office in presidential election years. Nancy Daniels is the fifth
Public Defender to serve the Second Judicial Circuit. Her predecessors were: Richard W.
Ervin, III (1963-1976), Michael J. Minerva (1976-1981), Michael E. Allen (1981-1989), and
Barbara Linthicum (1990).
The mission of the Public Defender is to provide
high-quality legal representation to each client.
The Public Defender is an equal opportunity
employer. A persons religion, age, gender, national origin, race, color or sexual
preference has no bearing on hiring, promotion, compensation or benefits. An Affirmative
Action plan is on file and available for review, as is information on the Americans With