FAQs about public defense in King County
Here is a list of questions DPD often receives from clients. If you have a question that you don't see answered here, please call DPD's main office at 206-296-7662 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Your court summons, which should show your case number, charge, next court date and type of hearing scheduled
- Pay stubs from the last three months
- Your most recent bank statement
- A copy of your most recent income tax return
- Any items that show you are receiving public assistance or unemployment compensation
DPD offices are open from 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The department's screeners, who determine whether someone is financially eligible for a public defender, are available from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the King County Courthouse in Seattle and the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. Screeners take their last interview at 4:15 p.m. No appointment is necessary.
There will be an attorney at arraignment to represent you. However, that attorney will generally not continue with your case. If you are out of custody, you will need to complete a financial screening at the DPD office to find out if you are qualified to receive a public defender. If possible, you should come into the DPD office to complete this screening before your arraignment.
If you have been assigned an attorney but have forgotten his or her name, call the attorney’s division; someone there will be able to tell you your attorney’s name. If you can’t remember the name of the division, call DPD’s general number – 296-7662. The receptionist will be able to help you.
If you have been charged with a crime in Seattle Municipal Court, you can apply for an attorney directly through the court. Please go to the Seattle Justice Center, 600 Fifth Avenue, Second Floor, Room 235 (Day Reporting/Screening Office), Window #3 (Warrants), in Seattle to be screened for a public defender. The phone number is 206-386-1543.