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Department of Public Defense

Providing high-quality legal representation and advocacy for indigent clients in King County

Department of Public Defense
Phone: 206-296-7662
Fax: 206-296-0587
TTY: 711 Relay Service

Administration Only:
Chinook Building
401 5th Ave, Suite 550
Seattle, WA 98104

Screening Locations:

Maleng Regional Justice Center
401 4th Ave. N.
Room 1-B (1101)
Kent, WA 98032

King County Courthouse
516 Third Avenue, E-820 Seattle, WA 98104

Department of Youth Services                           1211 East Alder, #346 Seattle, WA 98122


OPD Banner  Youth   Law books Attorney at work Regional Justice Center 

Welcome to the King County Department of Public Defense (DPD). We provide legal help to people who are accused of a crime and cannot afford an attorney. We also provide legal help to people who cannot afford an attorney and are facing certain other matters such as juvenile dependency, civil commitment, or civil contempt.

How do I ... 

    know if I'm eligible for an attorney?

    find a screening office?

    figure out who my attorney is?


DPD (previously the Office of Public Defense) is a new department within King County. It currently has four divisions, each with its own staff of public defenders, investigators, social workers and paralegals. The county also has a panel of assigned counsel, attorneys who provide legal work for the County on a contractual basis.

The department’s attorneys are highly skilled and dedicated and are committed to ensuring quality legal representation and advocacy for anyone facing a criminal charge, in keeping with both the U.S. Constitution and the state Constitution. DPD staff also tries to help clients address the underlying issues that brought them into the criminal justice system by placing them in drug treatment programs, mental health programs, or other alternatives to incarceration. The department strives to connect clients to a holistic suite of services – from housing to job training – so as to break the cycles that can lead to arrest.

Anyone facing a criminal charge, civil commitment, or a dependency proceeding - and who is found to be income-eligible - is entitled to a public defender, as are children facing contempt of court in truancy proceedings. To find out if you qualify for DPD services see who we serve. Here is where to find out how to get an attorney. Even if you do not qualify for help from DPD, you can still find out about other local low-cost legal resources on our web site.


David K. Chapman
Director, Department of Public Defense

Subscribe to "For The Defense"

Interested in learning more about King County’s new Department of Public Defense? Click to subscribe to “For The Defense,” a periodic newsletter that explores public defense issues, celebrates our employees and provides ongoing information about the department.

Department of Public Defense News

Opportunity to play an important role in the new Department of Public Defense

King County is creating a new 11-member Public Defense Advisory Board, a panel that will play a significant role in shaping the direction of the new Department of Public Defense.

This is a meaningful opportunity for those who are passionate about indigent defense in King County. The board will advise the county public defender on a regular basis, review the department’s budget, work to ensure public defense is administered with an eye towards equity and social justice and recommend candidates for the position of public defender when the office becomes vacant.

It’s also an exciting time to play a role in public defense in King County. The county’s public defense services have garnered national attention over the years, thanks to a legacy of zealous defense, client-centered representation and groundbreaking system reforms. The new department will look to the Advisory Board – as both an independent voice and an advocate for high-quality public defense – as it builds on this legacy and establishes a new service delivery model. DPD is committed to rigorous legal work, quality representation and broad-based client support. The Advisory Board will play a role in helping to make this commitment a reality.

Read more.

Information for Clients 

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions are here for you.

Find out How to Get an Attorney.

Information for Attorneys