Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
First you will need a judge to appoint a lawyer for you. You may be expected to fill out a statement and provide proof to the court that you do not have enough income to hire a private lawyer.
A bench warrant is issued by a judge when a person with a pending criminal case violates the rules of the court. Most often, people with bench warrants simply have failed to show up for a scheduled court appearance. Once a bench warrant is issued, the police can treat it like any other warrant - and use it to arrest people and keep them in jail until they appear back in front of a judge.
Please contact our office if you have a bench warrant or have any questions.
If you can’t work out your differences with your court-appointed lawyer, contact our office at (360) 754-4897 and request to speak with a supervising attorney or the director, Patrick O'Connor. You can also email our office by using the quick links under Department Attorneys on our home page.
If you are not satisfied with TCPD's response, you can file a formal complaint with:
Washington State Bar Association
1325 Fourth Ave., Suite 600
Seattle, WA 98101-2539
Toll-free: 800-945-WSBA (9722)
If in custody, the prosecutor has 72 hours (3 business days) to file charges. The 72 hour rule does not apply when the person is released.
- The judge determines if there is Probable Cause (PC).
- The judge sets Conditions of Release, and the client either is released on personal recognizance (PR) or required to post bail.
- Client pleads "guilty" or "not guilty" (TCPD advises all clients to plead "not guilty" at this stage).
- The court schedules pretrial, omnibus, and trial dates.
- Lets the court know what the attorney and client are planning (Change of Plea, Trial, etc).