Skip to main content

Thurston County, Washington

The content on the Thurston County website is currently provided in English. We are providing the “Translation” for approximately 10 languages. The goal of the translation is to provide visitors with limited English proficiency to access information on the website in other languages. The translations do not translate all types of documents, and it may not give you an exact translation all the time. The translations are made through an automated process, which may not result in accurate or precise translations, particularly of technical and legal terminology.

Public Defense

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).