New Jersey

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All data is current as of 2013, unless otherwise noted.
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How the right to counsel is administered and structured

State commission: none
Branch of government: executive (felonies & delinquencies)

The provision of Sixth Amendment right to counsel services in the state of New Jersey has two distinct tiers.

The statewide Office of the Public Defender is responsible for all adult felony and juvenile delinquency representation. The chief public defender is a direct gubernatorial appointee.

Each individual municipality is responsible for right to counsel services in “non-indictable” misdemeanor cases.


How the right to counsel is funded

Percentage of state funding: 100% (felonies & delinquencies); 0% (misdemeanors)
Percentage of local funding: 0% (felonies & delinquencies); 100% (misdemeanors)
Percentage of alternative funding: 0%

The methods used to provide public counsel

Trial and appellate representation in adult felony and juvenile delinquency cases is provided through regional offices of the statewide Office of the Public Defender.

“Non-indictable” misdemeanor cases are handled by whatever method each individual municipality deems best. The municipal public defenders, in general, are private attorneys working part-time under contract with the city government.


Legal authority

New Jersey Constitution, art. I, § 10

New Jersey Statutes, §§ 2A:158A-1 through 158A-25 (state public defender), and §§ 2B:24-1 through 24-17 (municipal public defenders)

Source of data: original research conducted by Sixth Amendment Center staff.