Office of Public Defense

  1. Temporary Measures Effective Until Further Notice

    In an effort to ensure everyone’s safety, due to the limited space in our lobby and to ensure social distancing, we have closed our reception area. Read on...
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The Cowlitz County Office of Public Defense represents people accused of crimes in the Cowlitz County courts. We represent adults and juveniles accused of crimes, youth involved in Juvenile Court dependency and termination proceedings, truancy proceedings, at Risk Youth proceedings and Child in Need of Services proceedings.

We represent people held at Peace Health/St. John's Hospital for involuntary civil commitment detention hearings based on mental health concerns and we represent persons detained for civil commitment based substance use disorder held at other evaluation and treatment facilities.

We only handle cases where the people involved have a right to a lawyer. All of our clients are assigned to us by the court. People who cannot afford to hire a lawyer can ask the judge for a court appointed lawyer. If the judge decides that a person qualifies for a court appointed lawyer, the Cowlitz County Office of Public Defense will assign the person a lawyer. That lawyer works for our office or is a conflict attorney assigned by our office who has their own independent office.

We are located at 1801 First Avenue in Suite 1A of the River Suites Building. Our office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Our office phone is 360-578-7430 and all calls go through a receptionist.