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Office of Public Defense
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
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.
State v. Blake
Anyone convicted and sentenced in Washington for possessing controlled substances (illegal drugs) is entitled to have that conviction cleared from their record. The Washington Supreme Court’s recent opinion in State v. Blake, Cause No. 96873-0 (Feb. 25, 2021), held that RCW 69.50.4013 and its predecessor statutes (collectively “RCW 69.50.4013” or “simple possession”) are unconstitutional.
If you have been convicted of drug possession, you may be entitled to a vacation of your conviction and remissions of any legal fines you have paid. Thousands of people have been impacted by these unconstitutional convictions and the Office of Public Defense is eager to assist. We are receiving a large number of inquiries, all of which are important and deserve an immediate response to achieve justice. OPD and its contractors plan to give priority to those people impacted by the Blake decision who are currently incarcerated or on community custody and could be released.
To initiate a proceeding to vacate your prior conviction for drug possession, please review the materials on the website for the Snohomish County Public Defender Association.