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County Home => Public Defender => Specialty Courts

Washoe County Specialty Courts

Recovery, Accountability, Hope, Change


The Washoe County Public Defender's Office represents clients assigned to Specialty Courts, whether the person was represented by a private attorney or an assigned public defender attorney.

Washoe County Specialty Courts are designed to help participants live free of substance abuse as law abiding members of society. Eligible participants are either referred to a program through their attorney or directed to a Specialty Court as a condition of probation. Specialty Court programs run from 12 months to 3 years in length. Programs have associated fees required to be paid by the participant. All Specialty Courts require either a substance abuse evaluation or a mental health evaluation to consider the eligibility of a participant.

Current Washoe County Specialty Courts include:

  • Felony DUI Court
  • Veteran's Court
  • Diversion Court
  • Adult Drug Court
  • Mental Health Court
  • Family Drug Court

Participant responsibilities for Specialty Courts?

#1 - SHOW UP for all court hearings, counseling appointments, drug tests, and 12-step meetings! Beating an addiction requires that you become responsible and showing up is a big part in doing that.

#2 - BE HONEST. Being honest with yourself and those trying to help you is the first big step in your recovery. The Judges, Attorneys, and Supervisors know how hard it is to beat any addiction. They do not expect everyone to be perfect. They do expect that if you use or drink, you will be honest and tell your counselor and the court. So if you slip up - tell the Judges and your Counselor - it is the best way to success!

#3 - DO WHAT YOUR PROBATION OFFICER REQUIRES. Your Probation Officer is there to help you but you have to comply with what is required and follow the rules. Your Probation Officer and Case Management Services can help you with housing, a job, training, and education. It's up to you to show that you would like that help.

#4 - PAY YOUR FEES. Manage your fees and other financial obligations. Set up payment plans as needed. Be responsible.

 You can get more information at the Specialty Courts website or contact:

Case Management Services

Jennifer Rains, Deputy Public Defender

Division of Parole & Probation