OFFICE OF THE PUBLIC DEFENDER 12th JUDICIAL CIRCUIT of FLORIDA LARRY L. EGER, Public Defender Serving, DeSoto, Manatee, & Sarasota Counties

What We Do

"The opposite of poverty is not wealth. In too many places, the opposite of poverty is justice.."                                      -Bryan Stevenson

The Office of the Public Defender represents criminal clients. Criminal matters include:

City Ordinances

Charges established by each individual city for violations such as open container, urination in public or lodging outdoors that are punished by up to 60 days in the county jail.

Charges such as driving under the influence and reckless driving that are punished anywhere from a fine to prison depending on the offense.

Charges such as trespass, possession of paraphernalia and domestic battery that are punishable by less than one year in the county jail.

Charges such as grand theft, possession of cocaine or sale of marijuana that are punishable by more than one year in the county jail.

Charges brought against a person under the age of 18 that would be a felony or misdemeanor if committed by an adult. The Public Defender will only handle the criminal charges of the child. We do not handle dependency cases at this time.

Charges such as first degree homicide that are punished as mandatory life in prison or death and some sexual batteries that are punished by mandatory life in prison.

The Office of the Public Defender does not provide representation in civil matters such as divorce, child support, foreclosure or suing individuals or businesses. To obtain assistance in these matters, call the Florida bar Referral line at 1-800-342-8011 or by e-mail at

Championing the accused with the utmost professionalism and humanity