The Office of the Public Defender provides legal representation to persons accused of criminal offenses. The Public Defender also represents juveniles charged in delinquency petitions, and the minors and parents involved in abuse and neglect cases. The attorneys in the Public Defender's Office represent indigent persons appointed by the Court. An individual charged with a criminal offense can ask the judge at their first court appearance to have the Public Defender appointed to represent them. The judge will then decide if the Public Defender will be appointed. In a juvenile case, the Public Defender will automatically be appointed to represent the parties.