We intend this website to provide useful information for clients, CJA Panel attorneys, and other criminal defense attorneys. This site may also prove useful to people interested in the administration of criminal justice in the federal courts, and in recent developments in criminal practice. For additional information about this website or about the Office of the Federal Defender, Middle District of Pennsylvania, please contact us at an address, phone, or fax number found under "Contact Us".

The Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, operates under authority of the Criminal Justice Act of 1964 (as amended), 18 U.S.C. § 3006A (CJA). We provide defense services to people who are financially unable to obtain adequate representation in federal criminal cases, appeals, and habeas corpus matters. Please understand that before the CJA permits us to represent you, the federal court must, first, determine that you are eligible, and then, second, the court must decide to appoint this office to represent you. Attorneys in this office may not engage in the private practice of law.

Policy on Diversity and Inclusion of The Federal Public Defender’s Office of the Middle District of Pennsylvania

The Sixth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States guarantees the effective assistance of counsel to every person accused of committing a crime.

Trial Unit

Our Trial Unit attorneys are court-appointed to represent persons accused of committing federal crimes in the Middle District of Pennsylvania who cannot afford to hire a lawyer. Representation begins at arrest or arraignment, and continues through sentencing. Trial Unit attorneys find witnesses and gather evidence to help prove innocence and develop mitigating facts. We do this using a team approach of investigators, paralegals, support staff, experts, and family members of the accused to achieve the best result possible.

Capital Habeas Unit

Our Capital Habeas Unit (CHU) represents people sentenced to death. The CHU represents its clients in federal habeas proceedings challenging the conviction and death sentence on constitutional grounds. We represent the client at all stages of the habeas process from habeas petition to appeal, and if necessary, certiorari to the United States Supreme Court. Our team is passionate about protecting the rights of our clients and treating them with dignity and respect.

Appellate Unit

The Appellate Unit handles all the direct appeals from convictions and sentencing in the district court to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. An appeal is a process to correct the district court’s legal errors, not a chance to present new evidence. We also file petitions for writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court and handle the briefing and argument if the Court grants review.