|Brevard County Public Defender Candidate. Seminole County Public Defender Canidate.|
|The reforms I want to implement are substantial however they will be put in place in a gradual, considered way.
I will consult with the existing attorneys and staff, the Judges, the Clerk of Court, law enforcement, and the
State Attorney’s office. The reforms will benefit not just the Public Defender’s Office but the legal system as a
Less than one percent of Public Defender cases go to jury trial. We do not have a jury trial system but rather
The Public Defender’s Office directly competes with private attorneys for clients. More should be done
Currently the Public Defender charges clients the lowest amount allowed by law, $50 for a misdemeanor and only $100 for a felony. If elected, I will charge the highest fee allowed by law, which is the actual cost of services, up to a cap of $3,500. this will encourage defendants to make every effort to hire a private attorney and drive down the total number of Public Defender clients.
If elected Public Defender, I will be more aggressive in making sure clients qualify for Public Defender services and that
Many Public Defender clients are court ordered to pay thousands of dollars in court costs, fees, and restitution. So there is no reason they cannot contribute to their defense costs as well. I will push the limits of what the law allows to cut costs to taxpayers. Creative thinking could move many defendants off the public dole and into the private sector. Without a free attorney so readily available the crime rate may even drop.
Additionally, reducing the number of highly paid administrators can create substantial savings. The current Public Defender
Most modern law offices use paralegals to help them compete in a tough business environment. The Public Defender’s Office currenly has 64 attorneys but only one paralegal. Paralegals can perform many of the tasks that attorneys perform at less than half the cost. I will employ paralegals to do the legwork while the Public Defender attorneys do the legal work. Paralegals can interview clients and witnesses,do legal research, draft pleadings, and organize files. The Public Defender’s Office has a high rate of employee turnover
High rates of employee turnover is a persistent problem for the Public Defender’s Office. Many attorneys come to the Public
I would reduce turnover by treating the attorneys like the professionals they are and demand clients be
Many petty rules will be eliminated. I want the attorneys working under me in the Public Defender’s Office to
The Public Defender should be a community leader and not just an agency head. The office is a powerful platform that should be used to talk to school children, civic groups, and churches. Prevention is key and the Public Defender is ideally positioned to help attack the terrible trinity of drugs, violence, and crime. With my up-bringing in difficult circumstances, I am ideally equipped to speak to children and young adults and help them learn to make good decisions. I will serve the public and be an active, energetic Public Defender.