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Public Defense

Island County is seeking to contract legal services for conflict counsel when the primary provider is unable to provide counsel. 

The Office of Public Defense represents Island County's interest and responsibility when providing attorney representation to indigent 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.

A financial interview is required to see if you are eligible for a public defender. These interviews -- also called financial screenings – can take place over the phone. To screen, call 360-679-7326. Interviewers are available by phone from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

You should gather the following items before you call:

  • 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;
  • Current pay stubs; unemployment, retirement income, pension income or Labor and Industries income; if married also spouse's income information. 
  • If you are unemployed, you must provide information about whoever is providing you with shelter, food, transportation, or other support. 
  • Any public assistance you receive (food stamps award letter, financial assistance award letter, current month's medical coupon, etc.);
  • Bank account information (it is easiest to get this from a teller at your bank or online);
  • 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.

PETITIONING FOR INDIGENT DEFENSE IN RESPONSE TO BLAKE V. WASHINGTON DECISION

Persons seeking representation in Island County for post-conviction appeals in response to the recent Washington State Supreme Court decision in Blake v. State of Washington must put their request in writing and mail to:

Island County Office of Public Defense
Blake Representation
P.O. Box 5000
Coupeville, WA 98239

Petitioners must include:
        • Full name
        • Birth date
        • Case/Cause Number
        • Charges
        • Contact information, including:
          • Telephone number
          • Email Address
          • Mailing Address
Petitions and Petitioners deemed eligible for representation at public expense will be assigned appropriate counsel in the order they are received.