Dan Koukol
Meet Your Public Defender

Mr. Koukol began practicing law in the Placer County Public Defender’s Office in 1987...

Office inside view with plants
Frequently Asked Questions

• How do I get a Public Defender?
• How do I Know if I am Qualified to Obtain...

Attorneys discussing a case inside an office Room
What to Expect

We understand that being charged with a crime is an extremely stressful experience.

Placer County Public Defender's Office

Placer County has historically utilized the private sector to provide public defender services. The Public Defender represents indigent people who have been charged with misdemeanor or felony crimes, mental health patients, juveniles, and those seeking appeals, regardless of their financial conditions.

An Ideal Team The Attorneys

This new office recruited 28 talented criminal defense attorneys from all over the state. The final team is an exceptional blend of experience, expertise, diversity, and personalities.

Our team has the specialized training and expertise necessary to handle the wide range of criminal matters, as well as other highly specialized areas of law. We manage cases dealing with conservatorships, family law contempt, and termination of parental rights cases.

In September 2016, Dan Koukol was awarded the contract to create a new public defender’s office.
The Investigators

Prompt, thorough, and aggressive investigations are absolutely essential to enable our attorneys to be effective. Our investigation team is diverse, multilingual, highly skilled, and hard working. Our investigators come from various backgrounds including criminology, law enforcement, parole, probation, and communications media.

A Unique Skill Set Digital Evidence

Because digital evidence—such as police officer body cameras, car cameras, surveillance videos, and smart phone memory—is now commonplace, our media team has developed unique tools to handle the large variety of digital evidence that we encounter.

Courtroom Media

When it comes to conveying information about a crime scene, visual aids are key to enhancing court room comprehension. Because of this, we established an investigative media team with the skills and tools to gather, edit, and produce visual exhibits for the court, prosecution, and jury. In the last 12 months, our team has introduced exceptionally effective drone footage and composite videos during jury trials.


In an office with several thousand files in circulation, a significant amount of time is wasted searching for files. To eliminate this problem, our office has scanned and digitized our files. With an image of every page of every file available within three mouse clicks, we have eliminated a huge source of inefficiency.

Our attorneys use tablet computers in the courtroom which allow them to quickly and easily access the internet, a complete legal library and information about their cases.

Substance Abuse & Counseling

We know that drug and alcohol problems are often a contributing factor in a criminal charge. We are also aware of how difficult it is to overcome the cyclical nature of substance abuse.

To help our clients with substance problems, we have a program placement specialist who has more than 20 years of experience in helping clients locate and acquire treatment.

Reducing Incarceration

In our justice system, incarceration should be treated as a last resort. To that end, we are frequently negotiating to replace incarceration with drug and alcohol treatment, job training, community service, home detention, or one of the many other forms of alternative sentencing.

Criminal Records

A criminal record can cause a lifetime setback. To mitigate this, our attorneys are mindful of the importance of structuring outcomes to reduce or eliminate our clients’ criminal records when possible.