Legal Resources

  1. State Public Defender’s Office: (608) 266-9150. Their office is about one block north of the courthouse at 17 S. Fairchild Street, 2nd Floor.
  2. A private attorney.
  3. Legal Action of Wisconsin: (608) 256-3304.
  4. State Bar of Wisconsin: (608) 257-4666.

Attorneys and staff of the District Attorney’s Office do not represent you. They represent the state and are seeking to convict you. They cannot give you legal advice (including whether you need a lawyer or not) and cannot help you complete any forms. Your rights include the following:

  • To hire an attorney to represent you at all stages of your case, with a reasonable amount of time to find an attorney.
  • To have a State Public Defender attorney appointed to represent you, if you are indigent (very poor).
  • If the State Public Defender’s Office rejects your application for an attorney, to ask for a review of that decision by a judge, which may result in appointment of an attorney for you.
  • To petition the court for appointment of counsel at county expense, for which you may be eligible.
  • To hire your own attorney.
  • To represent yourself, without the assistance of a lawyer.

Prosecutors may discuss the matter with an unrepresented person, provide information regarding settlement and negotiate a resolution, which may include a waiver of constitutional and statutory rights, but shall not provide legal advice to defendants, including, but not limited to: whether to get a lawyer; whether to accept or reject a settlement offer; whether to waive important procedural rights; or give an opinion as to how the court or a jury is likely to rule in the case. Specifically, prosecutors shall not assist a defendant in the completion of guilty plea forms.