What is the difference between a Public Defender and a District Attorney?

The District Attorney is an elected official. The District Attorney is charged with the enforcement of laws in Washoe County and employs Deputy District Attorneys to assist in that effort.

The Public Defender is appointed by the Board of County Commissioners. Every community must provide and fund attorneys for indigent persons facing a loss of liberty. The Public Defender employs Deputy Public Defenders to assist in the constitutional requirements set out by the United States Supreme Court and the Constitution of the United States.

While both offices are funded by the government, they serve independent functions.