Campbell County Public Defenders No Longer Taking Misdemeanor Cases
GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) — The Wyoming Public Defenders Office says its attorneys don't have time to represent people charged with misdemeanors in Campbell County because it is understaffed.
As a result, the Gillette News Record reports that the office notified Circuit Court judges in the county on Wednesday that its attorneys will no longer represent people charged with misdemeanors.
Public defenders represent people who can't afford an attorney.
The decision has put local judges and county officials in a quandary because defendants have a constitutional right to an attorney. It means that if a defendant asks for an attorney, judges must now appoint one from among local private attorneys.
State Public Defender Diane M. Lozano said that once the Campbell County office is fully staffed, it will again accept new misdemeanor cases.