(a) Types of Proceedings. The right to a lawyer shall extend to all criminal proceedings for offenses punishable by loss of liberty regardless of their denomination as felonies, misdemeanors, or otherwise.

(b) Stage of Proceedings.

(1) The right to a lawyer shall accrue as soon as feasible after the defendant is taken into custody, appears before a committing magistrate, or is formally charged, whichever occurs earliest.

(2) A lawyer shall be provided at every stage of the proceedings, including sentencing, appeal, and post-conviction review. A lawyer initially appointed shall continue to represent the defendant through all stages of the proceedings unless a new appointment is made by the court following withdrawal of the original lawyer pursuant to section (e) because geographical considerations or other factors make it necessary.

(c) Explaining the Availability of a Lawyer.

(1) When a person is taken into custody that person shall immediately be advised of the right to a lawyer. Such advice shall be made in words easily understood, and it shall be stated expressly that a person who is unable to pay a lawyer is entitled to have one provided without charge.

(2) At the earliest opportunity a person in custody who desires a lawyer shall be provided access to a telephone, the telephone number of the public defender or official responsible for assigning a lawyer, and any other means necessary to place the person in communication with a lawyer.

(d) Assignment of Lawyer.

(1) Unless waived, a lawyer shall be provided to any person who is financially unable to obtain one without causing substantial hardship to the person or to the person's family. A lawyer shall not be denied to any person merely because the person's friends or relatives have resources adequate to retain a lawyer or because the person has posted or is capable of posting bond.

(2) The ability to pay part of the cost of a lawyer shall not preclude assignment. The assignment of a lawyer may be conditioned upon part payment pursuant to an established method of collection.

(3) Information given by a person to assist in the determination of whether the person is financially able to obtain a lawyer shall be under oath and shall not be available for use by the prosecution in the pending case in chief.

(4) Before appointing a lawyer for the indigent person or at the first appearance of the lawyer in the case, the court shall require the lawyer to certify to the court that he or she complies with the applicable Standards for Indigent Defense Services to be approved by the Supreme Court.

(e) Withdrawal of Lawyer. Whenever a criminal cause has been set for trial, no lawyer shall be allowed to withdraw from said cause, except upon written consent of the court, for good and sufficient reason shown.

(f) Services Other Than a Lawyer.

(1) A lawyer for a defendant who is financially unable to obtain investigative, expert or other services necessary to an adequate defense in the case may request them by a motion to the court.

(2) Upon finding the services are necessary and that the defendant is financially unable to obtain them, the court, or a person or agency to which the administration of the program may have been delegated by local court rule, shall authorize the services. The motion may be made ex parte and, upon a showing of good cause, the moving papers may be ordered sealed by the court and shall remain sealed until further order of the court. The court, in the interest of justice and on a finding that timely procurement of necessary services could not await prior authorization, shall ratify such services after they have been obtained.

(3) Reasonable compensation for the services shall be determined and payment directed to the organization or person who rendered them upon the filing of a claim for compensation supported by affidavit specifying the time expended and the services and expenses incurred on behalf of the defendant, and the compensation received in the same case or for the same services from any other source.

[Amended effective September 1, 1986; September 1, 1995; June 30, 2012.]

Comment: Supersedes RCW 10.01.110; RCW 10.40.030; RCW 10.46.050.