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Washington County Criminal Defense Panel Program
The Washington County Criminal Defense Panel Program is a service available to defendants with misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or felony level offenses who seek representation by an attorney on their case. The program is staffed by private attorneys who are not affiliated with, or endorsed by, the court, prosecutor, or Public Defender's Office. Panel attorneys are available during court hearings to answer questions about the legal process and your specific case. If you do not apply for the services of a public defender and have not yet retained private counsel, a panel attorney can speak with you on your court date, free of charge. After your discussion with the panel attorney, if you wish to speak to the prosecutor or judge, you will have the opportunity to do so. If your case is not resolved on the court date, and you are interested in retaining the panel attorney's services to represent you through resolution of your case, it will be at a reduced rate based on your specific offense.
If you are interested in speaking with a panel attorney, contact SHAWN BETTS, Program Coordinator, at (651) 748-9373. If leaving a message, please leave the following information:
1. Level of offense;
2. Type of offense;
3. Date of last court appearance;
4. Date of next court appearance; and
5. Return phone number.
Please note that panel attorneys do not have a specific, consistent availability schedule for court hearings; it is best to call the number above to ensure a panel attorney is present for your hearing.