Applying for a Public Defender
County Courthouse, Suite 304
Bellingham, Washington 98225
Office Hours: 8:30 to 4:30
Our office accepts application for appointed counsel
(Public Defenders) from defendants in criminal cases before
the District, Juvenile and Superior Courts. You can also
apply for appointed counsel in other juvenile matters in our
Note: Applications for counsel in municipal courts should be
made to the municipal court.
Eligibility is determined solely on our evaluation of
your ability to pay your own costs of defense. The standards
that are used are similar to those used by other agencies in
evaluating eligibility for such things as public housing,
welfare, food stamps or medical coupons.
Application Process, Office Hours, & Interview
Application is made in writing at our office on the third floor
of the courthouse suite 304. The Affidavit of Indigency
we must have completed and sworn to under penalty of perjury is
found on the local forms page. The application
is a financial declaration of the income, expenses and assets available
to household members. Verification may be required at our discretion.
Applications can be made any time after you have been charged
with a crime. Public defenders cannot be appointed to assist
you with investigative meetings with law enforcement unless
they occur after you have been charged.
Our office is open from 8:30AM until 4:30PM. No appointments
are required nor are they accepted. Applications cannot be
done over the phone although a written and sworn application
may be submitted by mail and the interview can be done later
by phone. The interview should take about 10 minutes.