What to do if you have to appear in court:
- If you need an interpreter, call ahead of time to make sure the court knows this.
- Check the date and time of your appearance and come to the courthouse 15 minutes to 30 minutes before your scheduled time.
- Make sure your full name, address, and birth date are correct on the ticket.
If you are in jail, or have a case where you may go to jail in the future, the Public Defender may represent you if you cannot afford an attorney. You can call the Public Defenders office to see if they will appoint an attorney. They have interpreters who can help you speak to them. They will ask you questions about your income and your property. Call them as soon as possible so that an attorney can be with you at all of your court dates.
Call the county where your case is located, not the county where you live.
How to get a Public Defender in Wisconsin
In Wisconsin you apply for a Public Defender through the Public Defender’s office. You can apply by phone or in person.
Public Defender (Buffalo, Pepin Counties and Eau Claire Counties, WI)
21 S. Barstow Street
Eau Claire, WI 54701
Phone: (715) 836-2006
Public Defender (Dunn, Pierce and St Croix Counties, WI)
2100 O’Neil Road-Suite 400
Hudson, WI 54016
Phone: (715) 836-4360
Public Defender (Trempealeau and Jackson Counties, WI)
438 N. Water St.
Black River Falls, WI 54615-1017
Phone: (715) 284-9553
Public Defender (La Crosse County, WI)
205 5th Ave. S. – Suite 200
La Crosse, WI 54601-4059
Phone: (608) 785-9531
Public Defender (Monroe County, WI)
121 W. Oak St.
Sparta, WI 54656-1712
Phone: (608) 269-0200
How to get a Public Defender in Minnesota
In Minnesota, you ask the judge to appoint you a Public Defender. You must complete an application form which you get from the Court. The Judge will appoint a Public Defender to represent you only if: (1) you are under age 18, or (2) if you are an adult and the judge decides that you cannot afford to hire a private attorney.