The Tuscaloosa County Office of Public Defender Legal Team

We stand for expertise and years of experience in a wide variety of legal disciplines. Read our profiles below to get to know us better.

Joseph P. Van Heest is the appointed Public Defender for Tuscaloosa County and, since 2010, has had the privilege to serve a team of skilled Assistant Public Defenders providing high quality client-centered representation to indigent persons in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama. He has practiced law in Alabama since 1994, and has represented hundreds of clients in civil and criminal cases in federal, state, and municipal courts. He was raised in New Jersey and earned his B.S. in Management at Syracuse University, and his J.D. at The Catholic University of America, in Washington, D.C. He began his legal career as law clerk to U.S. District Judge Harold Albritton in Montgomery, Alabama. Thereafter, Mr. Van Heest practiced criminal defense for 16 years, both in private practice and as an Assistant Federal Defender in Montgomery. He is a past president of the Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and the Montgomery Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, a graduate of the National Criminal Defense College Trial Practice Institute in Macon, Georgia and member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Tuscaloosa County Bar Association.

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Tuscaloosa County Office of Public Defender

714 Greensboro Ave.

Ste 519

Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35401

Phone: 205-345-8200

Fax: 205-343-9933


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