Wisconsin State Public Defender

The Wisconsin State Public Defender's Office (SPD) has been providing "justice for all" since 1977, and is an independent, executive-branch state agency that ensures Wisconsin meets its constitutional requirement of providing legal representation to the indigent.

The mission of the Wisconsin State Public Defender is to zealously represent clients, protect constitutional rights, and advocate for an effective and fair criminal justice system.  Our commitment is to treat our clients with dignity and compassion.  Vision statement:  The Wisconsin State Public Defender Office will lead the way in protecting justice for all.

The agency provides legal representation to the indigent throughout the state in all of Wisconsin's 72 counties.  Organizationally, the SPD has 37 local trial offices, 2 appellate offices and a central administrative office.  The agency utilizes staff attorneys as well as contract private attorneys (to handle conflict and overflow cases).

The SPD's website provides resources to clients and potential clients, private attorneys who are certified to take SPD case appointments, individuals involved in the criminal justice system, and the public interested in the state agency that delivers on Wisconsin's constitutional requirement regarding indigent defense.

SPD Main Telephone number: 608-266-0087

Wisconsin State Public Defender Blogs

Latest from Wisconsin State Public Defender

State v. Daniel J. Rejholec, 2020AP56, 6/9/21, District 2 (recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) Police arrested Rejholec on suspicion of sexual assault of a minor. After receiving the Miranda admonitions, Rejholec agreed to speak with a detective. The interrogation was recorded on video. That video reveals the detective’s aggressive deployment of the so-called […]…
State v. M.D.M., 2017AP138-139, 6/8/21, Distrct 1, (recommended for publication); case activity In 2014, the State filed petitions charging M.D.M., a juvenile, with multiple counts of delinquency. He was found incompetent but likely to regain, so the court suspended these cases. In 2016, the State filed a new petition charging M.D.M. with 1 count of […]…
Sheboygan County v. M.J.M., 2020AP1744, 6/9/21, District 2 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity This is new. M.J.M. appealed a recommitment order which expired during the course of his appeal. The usual kerfuffle regarding mootness ensued but this time (unlike here and here) the court of appeals acknowledged that the issue of whether recommitment […]…
According to the ABA, the Arkansas Supreme Court has suspended a judge for his impatient, discourteous, and rude behavior toward public defenders.  He left the bench in the middle of questioning by a PD, refused to allow a PD to make her record regarding an objection, made alarming faces in court, and generally bullied them. […]…
State v. Chrystul D. Kizer, 2020AP192-CR, District 2, 6/2/21 (recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) The court of appeals gives the affirmative defense in § 939.46(1m) for victims of human trafficking and child sex trafficking its ordinary, common-sense meaning, and rejects the crabbed reading given the statute by the circuit court. Kizer was charged […]…
State v. Roy C. O’Neal, 2020AP1270, 6/2/21, District 3 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) A person who’s been indefinitely committed under ch. 980 is entitled to a discharge trial if he can show … well, er, nobody really knows what he has to show. In State v. Hager, our supreme court failed […]…
United States v. Cooley, USSC No. 19-1414, 2021 WL 2194835, 6/1/21, vacating 919 F.3d 1135 (9th Cir. 2019) Cooley’s truck, parked on the side of a US highway running through the Crow Reservation in Montana, attracted the attention of a Crow Police Department officer. The officer said that when he approached the truck, he found […]…
State v. James Timothy Genous, 2021WI 50, reversing an unpublished court of appeals opinion, 2019AP435-CR, 6/4/21; case activity (including briefs) An officer saw Genous sit in a parked car, engine running and headlights on, in a residential neighborhood at 3:36 a.m.  A woman emerged from a house, entered the car for 10 to 15 seconds, […]…