Public Defender Services funds all indigent defense for the State of West Virginia. Representation is provided by two methods: private attorneys on a court-appointed basis and full-time public defenders.
Public Defender Services does not provide representation from this office except in a limited number of appellate matters. However, research materials are available for minimal cost through the Criminal Law Research Center.
Public Defender Services pays each private attorney and other service providers for each case pursuant to a court order, following review by a Circuit Judge. Full-time Public Defenders are employees of a Public Defender Corporation organized at the Circuit Court level. These Corporations are separate legal entities but are funded by Public Defender Services.
In addition to payment for legal services in criminal proceedings, Public Defender Services pays for representation of indigent parties in abuse and neglect, mental hygiene, and juvenile proceedings.