The Office of Public Defense represents Island County's interest and responsibility when providing attorney representation to persons charged with a criminal or dependency action. The staff of the Office of Public Defense / GSA are not attorneys and will not give legal advice. You must meet certain financial guidelines to qualify for a Public Defender. If you qualify for a Public Defender, an attorney will be appointed to represent you for your current case in Superior, Juvenile or District Court.
You should schedule a screening appointment with the Office of Public Defense by calling (360) 679-7326. You will not be meeting with an attorney at this appointment. The appointment is only to determine if you qualify for a Public Defender. IF WE HAVE NOT SCREENED YOU FOR A PUBLIC DEFENDER AT LEAST 2 WORKING DAYS PRIOR TO YOUR NEXT COURT DATE, WE MAY NOT BE ABLE TO PROVIDE YOU WITH COUNSEL ON THAT COURT DATE.
SCREENING APPOINTMENTS ARE AVAILABLE 10 A.M. TO 2 P.M.
MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY (except Island County Holidays)
YOU MUST HAVE A SCREENING APPOINTMENT. SET AN APPOINTMENT BY CALLING (360) 679-7326
You should gather the following items before you call for an appointment as you will be required to provide them at screening:
Your criminal citation, notice and summons and paperwork that you receive from the court which contains your charge(s), case number(s) and court dates;
Verification of all of your income including employment (2 current pay stubs), unemployment, retirement income, pension income or Labor and Industries income; if married also bring in spouse's income information. If you are unemployed, you must provide a letter of support from whoever is providing you with shelter, food, transportation, or other support. These letters must be signed, dated, and have a phone number on them that we can verify
Proof of any public assistance you receive (food stamps award letter, financial assistance award letter, current month's medical coupon, etc.);
Current 30 day print out for all your bank accounts dated within 3 days of your appointment (it is easiest to get this from a teller at your bank or online);
Proof of any child support or court ordered fines that you pay or should pay.
You MUST re-apply for public defense representation each time that you are charged with a new criminal offense or violation and if you're Public Defender withdraws from your case because a warrant is issued and you get a new court date.