Public Defender

Duties
The Public Defender's Office was created in 1982 by constitutional mandate to provide indigent legal defense for:
  • Felony, misdemeanor and probation violation charges against adults and juveniles in Whatcom County Superior and District courts
  • Involuntary mental and alcohol commitments 

Basic Information for Clients 
Apply for a Public Defender -  Whatcom County Public Defender Applications 
Click to find your Superior Court dates
Click to find your District Court dates
Click to view the most recent Superior Court calendar 

You can contact your lawyer by email 

  • Please don’t use email to schedule appointments.  Instead, call 360-778-5640 to make an appointment.
  • Click on “Staff Directory" - When you find your attorney’s name, click on the link to send an email.
  • Never discuss confidential or sensitive information about your case by email

 What is that court date for?

1st appearance

  • If in custody, the prosecutor has 72 hours (3 business days) to file charges.  The 72 hour rule does not apply when the person is released from jail. 
  • The Judge determines if there is probable cause (PC).
  • The Judge sets conditions of release and the client either is released on personal recognizance (PR) or required to post bail.

Arraignment

  • Client pleads “not guilty” and the court schedules either a status hearing, omnibus hearing and trial dates.

 Status and Omnibus hearings 

  • Let’s the court know what the attorney and client are planning (change of plea, trial, continuance, etc).