Apply for the Public Defender

How to Apply for a Public Defender


You have the right to be represented by a lawyer and if you can't afford to hire a lawyer, one will be appointed at no expense to you. You must first qualify according to the federal poverty guidelines.

Qualifying Income


Persons in Family/Household & 2013 Poverty Guideline


  • Family of 1: $11,490
  • Family of 2: $15,510
  • Family of 3: $19,530
  • Family of 4: $23,550
  • Family of 5: $27,570
  • Family of 6: $31,590
  • Family of 7: $35,610
  • Family of 8: $39,630
Note: For families/households with more than 8 persons, add $4,020 for each additional person.


Steps for Application


  1. Fill out the Indigence Screening Application (PDF) and turn it in at the Municipal Court Clerk's window, between the hours of Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. located at:
    611 2nd Street
    Cheney, WA 99004
  2. If you are found qualified, without further documentation, you will be found eligible to be represented and able to contribute $150. You will be required to sign a promissory note (PDF) (promise to pay), regardless of the outcome of your case. You will be given your attorney's name and contact information. You must contact him/her before your next court date.
  3. Waiver of the $150 fee is possible by providing acceptable documentation within 30 days of signing the promissory note. Please provide any/all of the documents shown on the Proof of Indigence Screening List (PDF) to the Clerk of the Court.