A Pierce County Department of Assigned Counsel (DAC) attorney is present in Superior Court at arraignment to represent all individuals charged with a felony and appearing without an attorney.
In-custody individuals are screened for DAC eligibility prior to their arraignment. Individuals summoned for arraignment are screened for DAC eligibility in the courtroom on the day of their arraignment. The files of those determined to be eligible for DAC representation are brought to the DAC offices for processing and attorney assignment.
If ineligible for DAC representation, the court will set a "return with attorney" hearing to allow time to retain an attorney. The client and his attorney must then return for the hearing to advise the court. If an individual has been unable to retain an attorney, they must return on the hearing date and advise the court as to the reasons why.
The court may then set another "return with attorney" hearing to allow the the individual more time to retain an attorney, or the court may appoint DAC to represent through the remaining Superior Court proceedings.