Glenn D. Welsh, Chief Public Defender
The mission of the Public Defender is to provide responsible representation of indigent persons charged with crimes, including juveniles charged with delinquency.
About the Department
Under the Public Defender Act, each county except Philadelphia County, shall fund a Public Defender’s system.
Under the Act, the Chief Public Defender and Assistant Public Defenders shall be attorneys at law admitted to practice before the Superior and Supreme Courts of the Commonwealth of PA.
Pursuant to the Public Defender Act, the Berks County Commissioners have funded the Berks County Public Defenders’ Office.
The County Commissioners have appointed a Chief Public Defender. The Chief Public Defender, with the approval of the County Commissioners, has appointed Assistant Public Defenders’ and support staff to perform the duties of the office.
Pursuant to the Public Defender Act, the Berks County Public Defender provides legal counsel to any indigent person in the following type of cases:
- Juvenile delinquency;
- Preliminary Hearings;
- State trials;
- Parole proceedings;
- Extradition; and
- Any situation where representation is constitutionally required.
The Berks County Public Defender’s Office also provides legal counsel to persons subject to mental health commitment proceedings.
Every person that requests Berks County Public Defender representation shall provide, under verification, financial information on a written application. The Berks County Public Defender after being satisfied that the person is indigent shall provide counsel.