The mission of the Washington State Office of Public Defense (OPD) is "to implement the constitutional and statutory guarantees of counsel and to ensure the effective and efficient delivery of indigent defense services funded by the state... ."  RCW 2.70.005.  Established by the Legislature in 1996, OPD is an independent agency of the judicial branch.

OPD administers indigent defense services in the following areas:

OPD cannot provide direct representation of clients, pursuant to RCW 2.70.020.The previous hyperlink exits the OPD website.

Featured News:

County Public Defense Improvement Funds

OPD is now accepting applications from counties that are seeking state funds for improvements to public defense services. Completed applications must be submitted to OPD by 5 p.m. August 31, 2017.


City Public Defense Improvement Funds

Chapter 10.101 RCW authorizes OPD to administer a competitive grant program designed to support cities in funding improvements to public defense services.  The application for two-year grants for the 2018-19 calendar years is now available, and must be submitted to OPD by 5 p.m. August 15, 2017.


Juvenile Defense Training Academy

  • The next session of the 4-day Academy will be held on July 21 & 22 in Seattle.
  • The April 29, 2017 Academy materials are now available


2016 Status Report on Local Criminal Public Defense Issues

The 2016 Status Report on Public Defense in Washington State pdficon grsmall discusses recent trends in criminal public defense services, highlights annual accomplishments of OPD's Defense Improvement Program, and lists counties' and cities' statistics relating to public defense services. 


Tools for Implementing the Supreme Court's Standards for Indigent Defense

To assist in implementation of the Supreme Court Standards for Indigent Defense, OPD has developed a series of short web tutorials, an FAQ, sample caseload calculators, and a customizable Model Misdemeanor Case Weighting Policy .   Additional questions or requests for technical assistance can be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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