Public Defense

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Our Mission

The Lewis County Public Defense Coordination provides the courts with attorneys to represent persons charged with certain state and county criminal, probation violation, and juvenile offender cases when the person is unable to afford an attorney (indigent).


Lewis County Public Defense Coordination determines whether a person qualifies for the appointment of an attorney at county expense. Individuals who want an attorney appointed must financially qualify according to state statute. A financial statement is completed when the person first appears in court or is in custody. Lewis County Public Defense Coordination then decides whether to appoint an attorney. If an attorney is appointed, a judge may order repayment of the public defense cost at the conclusion of the case.

A person wanting to be screened by Lewis County Public Defense Coordination staff for eligibility for an appointed attorney needs to provide income, debt, and asset (house, vehicle, pension) information.


Defendants may opt to complete the screening process via phone. They can call 360-740-1339 to initiate the screening process remotely.

Defendants also have the option to complete the screening form online, the form is attached below. Once completed it can be emailed to or mailed to Public Defense Services 351 NW N Street, Chehalis, WA 98532.

Indigency Screening Form

Spanish Indigency Screening Form

2024 Poverty Guidelines

Indigency Screening Instructions

  1. Please download (fillable PDF) or print the screening form.
  2. Complete top section with contact information, charge, and case number.
  3. If you are on any type of state assistance, please check the correct box of which assistance you receive.
    If assistance is being received stop here on the form, sign and date at the bottom of the form and email or mail to the address listed below.
  4. If assistance is not received, please complete the rest of the form regarding household size, income, assets, and expenses.
  5. If no income or assistance is received, please list how you are supporting yourself currently. (ex. Family, friends, homeless, etc....)
  6. Once you have completed the form please sign and date along the bottom of the form and email or mail the completed form to our office.

Email Address:

Mailing Address:

Public Defense Services

351 NW North St

Chehalis, WA 98532

Please email the address above or call 360-740-1339 with any questions.

Our office will be in touch once the form is received and reviewed for indigency and attorney assignment. We will call you whether you are deemed indigent or not and review options with you.


Attorneys who provide public defense services are attorneys in private practice who are contracted with the County.

Our mission is to ensure effective and cost-efficient legal representation is available to persons who are eligible for court-appointed counsel, consistent with the Washington and United States Constitutions, laws, and national standards of justice.