To avoid court, motorists can write a check directly to the local prosecutor under an unusual system known as “DA Pre-Trial Diversion.” The use of diversion seems to be growing, raising eyebrows among public defenders who rely on traffic fines for funding.
Providing lawyers to all defendants who face pretrial detention could keep many of them out of jail and save cities and counties money, says a new report from criminal justice experts. The Washington, D.C.-based Constitution Project contended yesterday, in a report titled “Don’t I Need A Lawyer?“, that lawyers should be appointed “in a timely manner prior to initial bail and release hearings.” Despite the 52-year-old Supreme Court ruling in the case known as Gideon v. Wainwright, which guarantees defendants […]
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, […]
Three years ago, Attorney General Eric Holder called the American Bar Association's (ABA) “Ten Principles” the “basic building blocks of a well-functioning public defense system. In Delaware, “both the primary and conflict indigent defense systems … fail the vast majority of the ABA Ten Principles,” according to a new study by the non-profit Sixth Amendment Center. The 216-page report explores glaring weaknesses in the state's public defender system, with a focus on the pretrial stage. Defendants are initially advised of […]