Office of Public Defense

Responsibilities


The Snohomish County Office of Public Defense (OPD) is responsible for the administration of the assigned counsel program that provides legal defense services for indigent persons in those criminal and civil cases in which a jail sentence is a potential sanction. 

The assignment of counsel to people facing the potential loss of liberty and who cannot afford counsel on their own is a right guaranteed by Amendment VI of the U.S. Constitution, as well as Chapter 10.101 of the Revised Code of Washington.

Online Services: Outstanding Snohomish County Warrants



Services

OPD provides the following services:



  • Perform indigency screenings to ensure constitutional as well as cost-effective assignment of counsel at public expense:
    • Interviewers use state standards and federal guidelines
    • Interviewers conduct screenings in-office, at the county jail, and by phone
    • Once screened, cases for indigent defendants are referred to the Public Defender Association or conflict counsel for representation
  • Manage County resources to ensure access to effective assistance of counsel in line with local, state and national indigent defense mandates and standards, in a cost-effective manner.