The Public Defender Service (PDS) is a department of the Legal Aid Agency, delivering a full range of quality services within the criminal defence market, from advice and representation at the police station and magistrates courts through to advocacy in the higher courts.
The PDS was established in 2001 and was the first salaried criminal defence service in England and Wales. We currently operate out of offices in Cheltenham, Darlington, Pontypridd and Swansea. Our offices are well established as a provider of high quality defence advice and representation in police stations, Magistrates and Crown Courts in their local areas.
The biggest asset of the Public Defender Service is our staff. Each office employs a strong team of experienced Accredited Police Station Representatives, Duty Solicitors and Solicitor Advocates to deal with criminal cases at all levels from motoring matters to murder. We take part in local duty solicitor rotas and appear regularly in local Magistrates and Crown Courts whilst also advising on benefit investigations, subject to the availability of legal aid. All members of our team are committed and dedicated to ensuring that all of our clients are treated fairly and supported through what can be a traumatic time. We work hard to ensure the best possible outcomes for our clients and we are proud of the work we do, the people we help and the things we achieve.
All of our team deal solely with Criminal Law and have wide ranging expertise and skills in representing people in all sorts of different situations and for a whole range of offences. Whether you are detained at the police station or facing allegations at the Magistrates Court, Crown Court or elsewhere, we provide high quality legally aided representation. Whatever the offence you face, we have qualified and experienced members of staff who can assist you. If you think you might require legal advice about a potentially criminal matter then contact us today for further advice.
Code of Conduct
Section 29 of the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Act 2012 provides for a code of conduct which is to be followed by PDS staff providing legal services to individuals. The code must, by statute, include duties to protect the interests of our clients and applies in addition to any professional code of conduct. The code can be found here. A copy of our complaints procedure can be found here.