Notice to Defendants Without Lawyers

If you do not have a lawyer the attorneys and staff of the District Attorney’s Office do not represent you. They represent the state and they cannot give you legal advice (including whether you need a lawyer or not) and cannot help you complete any forms.

Legal Rights

Your rights include the following:

  • To have an attorney 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 proceed without an attorney to represent you

State Public Defender

To contact the State Public Defender’s Office:
101 Main Street W
Suite 207
Ashland, WI 54806
Phone: 715-436-5070

Supreme Court Ruling

Wisconsin Supreme Court Rule 20:3.8 provides, in part, that 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, forms for the waiver of a preliminary hearing, or forms for the waiver of a jury trial.

If you do not have a lawyer the attorneys and staff of the District Attorney’s Office do not represent you. They represent the state and they cannot give you legal advice (including whether you need a lawyer or not) and cannot help you complete any forms.


Legal Rights

Your rights include the following:

  • To have an attorney 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 proceed without an attorney to represent you

State Public Defender

To contact the State Public Defender’s Office:

101 Main Street West

Suite 207

Ashland, WI 54806

Ph: 715-436-5070


Supreme Court Ruling

Wisconsin Supreme Court Rule 20:3.8 provides, in part, that 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, forms for the waiver of a preliminary hearing, or forms for the waiver of a jury trial.