New Jersey

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All data is current as of 2013, unless otherwise noted.
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Read about a particular aspect of the right to counsel in New Jersey by clicking on the heading for that issue. Or [Expand All] to see and print from one location all of the facts about the right to counsel in New Jersey, then [Collapse All] whenever you need to do so.

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
Adult felony and juvenile delinquency cases are handled by 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 Statutes, § 158A (state public defender), and § 2B:24 (municipal public defenders)

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