Want to read more? Subscribe Now or Sign In
Hide ( X )
  • THE CRIME REPORT - Your Complete Criminal Justice Resource

  • Investigative News Network
  • Welcome to the Crime Report. Today is

Inside Criminal Justice

new & notable

How Poor Is 'Too Poor' to Hire a Lawyer?

March 19, 2014 08:58:55 am

Photo by DidierC82, via Flickr

Nearly one-third of states require potential indigent defendants to pay application fees when requesting counsel, and almost every state requires defendants to either reimburse the state or make a contribution for representation, according to a new report from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL).

Researchers examined how states decide who is "too poor" to hire a lawyer, as well as potential roadblocks in place that might deter indigent defendants from requesting counsel.

Sixteen states require preliminary administrative fees, ranging from $10 in New Mexico to $150 in Massachusetts, which also offers the alternative of 15 hours community service instead of the fee.

A $100 “administrative fee” is charged in Delaware, where the public defense system was recently the focus of an extremely critical report by the non-profit Sixth Amendment Center, which said the state fails ‘the vast majority.’

Delaware is one of 18 states that consider public assistance or federal needs-based benefits as income when deciding whether a defendant is eligible for assigned counsel, according to the NACDL study.

Read the full report HERE.

« Article List
No Comments yet

TCR at a Glance

How Police Can Reduce Wrongful Convictions

new & notable August 27, 2014

A new paper by Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts and two other leaders in policing and legal advocacy calls for a systemic over...

‘Till Death Do Us Part’

August 26, 2014

South Carolina is among the top ten states in deaths from domestic violence. But it’s not alone in its failure to address what some...

The Criminal Justice Debt Penalty

new & notable August 22, 2014

"Mere contact" with the criminal justice system can cause long-term financial instability, according to a new paper from the John Jay Col...