Is my public defender a “real lawyer”?

Yes! Public defenders are just as “real” as private criminal defense lawyers and civil lawyers. All the attorneys at the Cowlitz County Office of Public Defense graduated from college and law school and have met the same Washington State Bar Association requirements to practice law in the courts of this state.

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1. Is my public defender a “real lawyer”?
2. Since you’re paid by the government, the same as prosecutors, aren’t you just working together?
3. Can I call or drop by the Cowlitz County Office of Public Defense for some quick legal advice?
4. What is an arraignment?
5. What is a pre-trial hearing?
6. What is a trial readiness hearing?
7. What happens in trial?
8. What happens in a sentencing hearing?
9. How does COVID-19 impact my court hearings?
10. How do I discuss my case with my attorney during COVID-19?
11. What is a bench warrant, and what can I do if I have one?
12. Why hasn’t my attorney gotten my case dropped?
13. What if I forgot my court date?
14. How do I get my record vacated/sealed?
15. If I have a problem with my court-appointed lawyer, how do I complain?
16. What can I do to help with my case?