The Office of the Public Defender provides legal representation of the highest caliber to indigent persons who face a loss of liberty. The Public Defender also protects the constitutional and statutory rights of ALL citizens through its zealous representation of court-appointed clients
Proudly serving Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Gilchrist, Levy and Union Counties!
The Office of the Public Defender represents adults and juveniles in all manner of criminal cases, including defending clients who are facing the death penalty. The Office also represents clients in involuntary commitment proceedings pursuant the Baker Act, in other mental health hearings pursuant to law, and in Jimmy Ryce cases.
The Office the Public Defender is staffed by highly trained attorneys, investigators and support personnel who are all committed to the mission of ensuring equal justice for all of our clients. The Office is led by the Public Defender, Stacy A. Scott.
Stacy was appointed Public Defender of the Eighth Judicial Circuit by Governor Charlie Crist in 2010. In 2012, Stacy was elected to office by the people of the Eighth Judicial Circuit, and subsequently re-elected in 2016. Stacy passionately defends the rights of indigent people accused of crimes and has dedicated her entire professional career to ensuring fairness and integrity in our criminal justice system. Prior to becoming the elected Public Defender, Stacy served as an Assistant Public Defender in the Eighth Judicial Circuit for over 10 years. She has also served as an Assistant State Attorney, and worked in the private sector as a criminal defense attorney. For over 20 years, Stacy has litigated criminal cases ranging from misdemeanors to serious felony cases.
Immediately prior to becoming the elected Public Defender, Stacy was the County Court Supervisor for the Public Defender’s Office in the Eighth Judicial Circuit. In her role as County Court Supervisor, Stacy was responsible for training and supervising all Assistant Public Defenders practicing in the misdemeanor divisions. Stacy has also practiced in the juvenile division of the Public Defender’s Office, advocating for the rights of children charged with crimes. While in the juvenile division, Stacy worked tirelessly for children who were participating in the Juvenile Drug Court Program in Alachua County, serving as a mentor both inside and outside of the courtroom. Stacy has worked in felony divisions throughout the Eighth Circuit, and has tried numerous serious felony cases.
Since taking office in 2010, Stacy has become an effective policy advocate in Tallahassee on issues related to criminal justice and on funding for Public Defenders statewide. She is a key leader of the legislative team working on behalf of the Florida Public Defenders Association (FPDA). Currently she is the Chairperson of the Appropriations Committee for the FPDA. Stacy was the recipient of the 2017 Craig Stewart Barnard Outstanding Service Award for her relentless pursuit of justice and outstanding service to the FPDA and its members. Stacy also received both the 2017 and 2018 President’s Award for exemplary legislative advocacy on behalf of the Public Defenders.
Additionally, Stacy has dedicated herself to teaching aspiring lawyers. She is an Adjunct Faculty member at the University Of Florida Levin College Of Law. Stacy has also served as Intern Director for the Levin College of Law’s Public Defender Clinic, training and supervising of a class of interns each semester. Stacy is an instructor in the Trial Practice program at UF’s law school and at the Gerald T. Bennett Prosecutor and Public Defender Trial Training Program. She has also been a coach of UF law school’s Trial Team, leading the team to two national civil rights championships in 2005 and 2007.
Stacy is committed to the highest degree of ethics and professionalism in the practice of law. Stacy has participated in regulating lawyer conduct by serving two terms on the Florida Bar Grievance Committee, 8B. Additionally, Stacy served on the Florida Bar’s Commission on Review of the Discipline System (the Hawkins Commission). She is a longtime member of the James C. Adkins Chapter of the American Inns of Court, the Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association and the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys.
Stacy earned her J.D. with Honors from the University Of Florida College Of Law in 1995 and holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Florida