Photograph: Washburn Law Clinic.

Criminal Defense Clinic

Interns practicing Criminal Defense experience the dynamic world of criminal law. Taking part in this practice area provides interns a window into the inner workings of the criminal justice system.

Criminal Defense interns handle a wide variety of cases, providing legal representation for indigent defendants charged with criminal offenses.

Representation may involve counseling clients with underlying issues such as substance abuse and mental health. Cases handled include misdemeanor and felony charges pending in the Shawnee County District Court, misdemeanor and ordinance violations pending in Topeka Municipal Court and criminal offenses in the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation District Court. On occasion, the Clinic represents people seeking post-conviction relief.

The scope of representation covers all phases of a client's case, from initial interviews and theory development through disposition or trial. Interns are lead counsel in all aspects of representation, including court proceedings.

Some of the charges and issues for which Washburn Law Clinic interns have represented clients include:

  • Driving under the influence
  • Battery and aggravated battery
  • Burglary
  • Criminal damage
  • Leaving the scene of an accident
  • Forgery
  • Arson
  • Post-conviction cases
  • Larceny
  • Possession of controlled substance.
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Faculty Member
Photograph: John Francis.
Professor John J. Francis