Client Fees for SPD Representation

The Wisconsin State Public Defender's Office (SPD) is required to assess attorney fees in adult cases. The fees collected help to offset the cost to taxpayers for agency operations.  Although clients of the SPD have limited income and assets, many are able to reimburse the state taxpayers for part of the cost of the legal representation furnished to them.

The fees are set by administrative rule for each case type.  The fees are based on the average length and complexity of the different types of cases; they are not calculated on an hourly basis in each individual case.  For each case type, there is a maximum (full) payment amount and a lower prepayment amount.  At the beginning of their representation, clients are given payment envelopes and told the applicable payment amounts.

By paying the prepayment amount within 60 days, clients can satisfy their payment obligations for an amount substantially less than the full payment amount.  As an example, the prepayment amount in a misdemeanor case is $60 whereas the full payment amount is $240.

Clients who are unable to make any payment may complete a financial form to defer their payment obligation.  If a client's financial circumstances were to improve in the future, the SPD will seek payment at that time.

For more information regarding client fees for SPD representation, clients may contact the Collections and Verification Unit at 1-800-445-2230, or 17 S. Fairchild, Madison, WI 53703.

Click our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for more information.