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Assistant Public Defender I Duties : Under general direction of the Chief Public Defender, is responsible for representing indigent defendants identified as having a mental illness or intellectual disability during the Article 15.17 magistration hearing; supervises support staff; conducts legal research; coordinates with firm's Pre-trial services; negotiates with the District Attorney's office on bond amount and conditions; represents indigent defendants before the appropriate Magistrate Judge; and performs related duties as required. Experience representing clients who have a mental illness or intellectual disability or experience working with this population in any capacity is preferred. Must be dedicated to the program goal of providing treatment and release as an alternative to detention in the firm's Jail. Duties will include considerable personal contact with special needs clients suffering from a wide range of mental illness, intellectual disability and/or other disorders, including, serious drug abuse. Contact and communication may be stressful when dealing with clients. Perform related duties as required. Supervises support staff in the operational aspects of representing indigent defendants at the initial Article 15.17 hearing. Consults with jail personnel, mental health experts, treatment providers and pre-trial services and their staffs, on issues related to setting bond amount and conditions. Interviews indigent defendants, obtain information relevant to bond amounts and conditions, research charges and criminal history. Contact with special needs clients suffering from a wide range of mental illness, retardation or other disorders including serious drug abuse. Advises clients on the Article 15.17 hearing, the charges against them, their rights and opportunities for treatment. Researches relevant state statutes and case law. Confers with prosecuting attorneys on bond amounts and conditions. Performs related duties as required.
Qualification and Experience
Qualification : The candidate should have Graduation from an accredited college or university with a Doctorate of Jurisprudence. Must have good knowledge of criminal defense procedures and techniques; Knowledge and interest in the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 15.17 initial magistration and Chapter 17 Bail; good knowledge of the criminal justice system; good knowledge of case law; some knowledge of medical and mental health terminology as relevant; good written and oral communication skills required. Must be licensed to practice law in the State of Texas and maintain good standing with State Bar of Texas.
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