- Pro Bono Legal Counsel
For Criminal Cases: The Office of Public Defender (www.publicdefender.delaware.gov)
The Delaware Public Defender’s Office (PDO) was established by statute in 1964 as a statewide agency. The PDO is charged with representing indigent people at every stage of the criminal process in both adult and juvenile courts. The PDO is committed to the ideal of providing high quality legal services to its clients. The PDO strives to achieve this ideal every day through the superior representation provided by its seventy-one licensed attorneys and dedicated support staff.
The Public Defender’s Office (PDO) provides legal services to indigent and incarcerated clients statewide. The PDO maintains offices in New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County. The PDO consists of approximately 70 licensed attorneys and 71 support staff who handle and average of 50,000 cases a year. The PDO provides clients with access to interpreters, criminal investigators, forensic nurses, psycho-forensic evaluators, psychological and/or medical or psychiatric experts, and other experts as needed. The PDO also participates in boards, committees and programs designed to improve the Delaware criminal justice system.
If you are not incarcerated and have been charged with a crime for which you could be sent to prison, you may visit the Public Defender’s Office in the county in which you reside to see if you meet the eligibility requirements. An interview with an intake investigator will be required to determine if you qualify. Bring a paystub to the interview. If you are receiving unemployment compensation, social security/disability or other public assistance, please bring proof of these assistance payments to the interview. Eligibility for a minor is based on the income of the primary custodial parent(s) along with the juvenile defendant’s income, if any. If you are found eligible, an attorney from our office will be appointed to represent you.
The Intake Unit is generally the first point of contact for potential PDO clients. The Intake Interviewers conduct eligibility screening and preliminary factual investigations for incarcerated and non-incarcerated individuals. They also gather necessary information regarding a potential client’s medical, mental health and substance abuse history so that appropriate referrals may be made to the Psycho-Forensic Evaluators and Forensic Services Unit.
For Civil Cases: Community Legal Aid (www.declasi.org)
Community Legal Aid Society, Inc. (CLASI) is a private, non-profit law firm dedicated to equal justice for all. We provide civil legal services to members of our community who have low incomes, disabilities or who are age 60 and over. Our services help our clients to become safe and self-sufficient.. (CLASI) helps provide equal access to justice, improving lives since 1946.
CLASI provides free legal services to:
- People with disabilities, as Delaware’s Protection and Advocacy System
- Victims of housing discrimination, under HUD’s Fair Housing Initiative Program
- Victims of domestic violence
- Immigrant victims of crime, abuse and neglect
- Victims of Crime:
The Delaware Victims’ Compensation Assistance Program provides compensation to victims of violent crimes and assistance to their families for crime related expenses. Compensation is available for payment of medical and dental expenses, mental health counseling, prescription medication, lost wages, funeral/burial support, temporary housing and moving or relocation services, crime related expenses and other costs approved by the VCAP. The VCAP only pays expenses that are not covered by another source of funding, such as health or auto insurance. Property losses are not covered.
- The crime must be reported to law enforcement within 72 hours.
- An application must be filed with the VCAP within 1 year of the crime.
- The victim must cooperate with the police in the apprehension and conviction of the criminal.
- The victim must not have caused or contributed to his/her injury or death.
What Losses may be paid?
- Medical and/or dental expenses for the victim.
- Mental health treatment or counseling.
- Wage or income loss.
- Funeral and/or burial expenses.
- Crime scene clean-up.
- Moving/Relocation Expenses.
- Temporary Housing.
- Change of locks.
- Replace items seized as evidence.
The VCAP may only pay crime-related losses not covered by insurance or other sources. No award will exceed $25,000.00. Limits have been set for certain types of losses. Please contact the VCAP office for specific limits on your losses.
- ALL LOSSES MUST BE SUPPORTED BY DOCUMENTATION PRIOR TO COMPENSATION BEING AWARDED.
- YOU CANNOT BE PAID FOR LOST, DAMAGED OR STOLEN PROPERTY, OR FOR PAIN AND SUFFERING.
- PARENT OR GUARDIAN MUST APPLY FOR ANYONE UNDER THE AGE OF 18For Victims of Domestic Violence: Child, Inc. (www.childinc.com)
Child, Inc. offers extensive services to victims of domestic violence, including
- 24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotline: 302-762-6110
The Domestic Violence Hotline is a crisis service and informational resource for people experiencing domestic violence in New Castle County, Delaware. Bi-lingual staff assists Spanish speaking callers. Some calls result in women entering either of the two sheltering programs for safety and refuge. Most callers are provided information about resources and options available to domestic violence victims. Many callers to the hotline are referred to additional CHILD, Inc. programs, including, support groups, classes or counseling.
- Emergency Shelters for Battered Women and their Children
CHILD, Inc. operates two shelters for battered women and their children, one in Southern New Castle County (Sarah’s House) and the second in Northern New Castle County, (Martha’s Carriage House). The mission of CHILD, Inc.’s sheltering program is to reduce domestic violence by providing safety, support, and advocacy to victims. If a Spanish-speaking client seeks refuge at either Martha’s Carriage House or Sarah’s House, she will receive additional help from bilingual case managers. Call the Domestic Violence Hotline for more information about shelter services.
- Family Visitation Centers
CHILD, Inc. provides supervised exchange for off-site visitation, or monitored on-site visitation for children from homes where there has been domestic violence or sexual abuse. Currently there are two visitation centers in New Castle County. Call (302) 283-7518 for more information about the Family Visitation Centers.
- Domestic Violence Advocacy Program
This program helps to empower victims of domestic violence by guiding them through the Family Court system as they seek protection from their abusive partners. CHILD, Inc. staff and volunteers are based in each of the Family Court buildings. In New Castle County call (302) 255-0420.
|Wilmington Police||300 N Walnut St||302-654-5151|
|Domestic Violence Hotline||302-762-6110|
|Community Legal Aid (Civil Cases)||100 W 10th St||302-478-8850|
|Office of Public Defender||500 N King St Suite 2400||302-255-0130|
|De Victims Compensation Assistance Program||900 N King St
|DE Dept of Justice Victims Service Unit||1-800-870-1790|
|Wilmington Police Based Victims Services||(English)||302-576-3622|
|Wilmington Police Based Victims Services||(Spanish)||302-576-3665|
- People Accused Of A Crime: To see if a person is wanted by the police in Delaware, visit DELJIS (the Delaware Criminal Justice Information System) website – www.pubserv.deljis.delaware.gov/WantedPublic/. A name search will reveal is the person has any outstanding warrants, listing the person name, aliases, approximate age, charges, court that issued the warrant and, if possible a mugshot.
- For People Convicted of a Crime: (www.doc.delaware.gov)
A person convicted of a crime in Delaware may be serving his or her sentence at one of five levels:
- Level 5: Prison (roughly 6,500 annually are incarcerated in DE prisons)
- Level 4: Work Release Programs or Home Confinement (Inmates may leave their place of monitored incarceration for specific times, places and activities for which they must get permission in advance)
- Level 3: The person is on probation in the community, but has a strict nightly curfew, must not leave the state, must have no police contact or violate any of the conditions of his or her probation agreement. Must report to his or her Probation Officer on a weekly basis, is subject to random curfew checks and drug tests.
- Level 2: The person is on probation in the community, but has a strict nightly curfew, must not leave the state, must have no police contact or violate any of the conditions of his or her probation agreement. Must report to his or her Probation Officer on a monthly basis, is subject to random curfew checks and drug tests.
- Level 1: The person is on probation in the community. After report to his or her probation officer at the start of one’s probation, the person does not have to check in again. Nevertheless, the person on Level One Probation must not leave the state, must have no police contact or violate any of the conditions of his or her probation agreement
People that violate the conditions of their probation are typically moved to a stricter level, including incarceration.
- Registered Sex Offenders:
To see if someone is a registered sex offender, visit the Delaware Sex Offender Central Registry online – www.desexoffender.dsp.delaware.gov/SexOffenderPublic/. All sex offenders are required to report immediately any change of residency. Homeless sex offenders must report where they are staying to the state police on a monthly basis. In New Castle County, they must report to Troop 2 of the Delaware State Police (302-834-2620). Located on Rt 40, in Bear, just west of the Fox Run Shopping Center, between Rt. 72, and Rt. 896.
Since moderate and high risk sex offenders cannot reside in a home or shelter that houses children or live within 1,000 feet of a school, day care, shelter or other program that serves children, their housing and shelter options are very limited.
- People Needing a Criminal Background Check:
Call and schedule an appointment utilizing one of the Appointment Help Line contact numbers listed below:
1-800-464-4357 or 302-739-2528. Arrive at SBI / North (Troop 2) and report in with the receptionist No Later Than the time set by the appointment desk. The results of the completed Background/Criminal History check will not be returned the same day, but will be forwarded to the recipient as soon as operationally possible.
The hours of operation are:
- Mon, Wed, Thurs, and Fri, 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., closed for lunch from 12 to 12:30.
- Tuesday, 11:30 a.m. to 6:15 p.m., closed for lunch from 4:00 to 4:30
For a State of Delaware Background Check, the current fee is $45.00. For both a State and Federal Background Check, the current fee is $69.00 (Depending on what purpose you are being printed for, you may need a Federal background check as well.) You may use cash, credit or debit cards, bank checks, money orders, or company checks made out to Delaware State Police. We do not accept personal checks.
A Criminal History Background Check is obtained through fingerprints. You will need to bring a photo Identification. A Driver’s License, School ID, or State ID would be sufficient. It is not required to be a Delaware License. You do not need to bring a social security card or a birth certificate. If you need further information please call (302) 739-5871.
|Courts & Prisons||Address||Phone|
|Superior Court||500 N King St||302-255-0800|
|Court of Common Pleas||500 N King St||302-255-0900|
|Family Court||500 N King St||302-255-0300|
|JP Court 20 (Criminal)||300 N Walnut St||302-577-7234|
|JP Court 11 (Criminal)||2 Penn’s Way||302-323-4450|
|Plummer Correctional Center||38 Todds Lane||302-761-2800|
|Howard Young Correctional Center for Men||1301 E 12th St||302-429-7700|
|Baylor Correctional Center for Women||660 Baylor Blvd||302-577-3004|
|Hazel Plant Women’s Treatment Facility||620 Baylor Blvd||302-777-6800|
|WEBB Correctional Center||200 Greenbank Rd||302-995-6129|
|Ferris School||959 Centre Rd||302-993-3800|
|James Vaughn Correctional Center||1181 Paddock Rd||302-653- 9261|
|Sussex Correctional Institute – Boot Camp||23203 Dupont Blvd||302-856- 5280|
|Sussex Work Release / VOP||23207 Dupont Blvd
P.O. Box 500
|New Castle County Probation & Parole||26 Parkway Circle, 19720||302-323-6050|
|Northern New Castle County Probation & Parole||314 Cherry Lane,, 19720||302-577-3663|
|Dover Probation & Parole||511 Maple Parkway, 19901||302-739-5387|
|Georgetown Probation & Parole||22855 Dupont Blvd.||302-856-5243|
|Delaware State Police Troop 2||100 Lagrange Ave, Newark 19702||302-834-2620|
(Last updated 8/28/14)