Public Defenders Are Not Always Free | FindLaw | Jason Beahm | 10/7/10

Scales of Justice

Scales of Justice (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

The Miranda warning: “…If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you…” does not necessarily mean that the public defender’s assistance will be without cost to the defendant.

According to a report by the Brennan Center for Justice, Criminal Justice Debt: A Barrier to Reentry, states are increasingly imposing fees on indigent criminal defendants, including fees for the public defender.

In some of the states, the laws include mandates that specifically bar the court from waiving the fees, even for the poorest of defendants. And in Florida and Ohio, defendants must pay even if they are acquitted of the charges or have them dropped. Some of the fees don’t even end with the conclusion of the trial. Some states charge incarceration fees, prosecution reimbursement fees, probation fees, parole fees, drug testing fees. For example: one person in Pennsylvania faced $2,464 in fees alone, approximately three times the amount imposed for fines and restitution.

For full article see: Public Defenders Are Not Always Free – Legislation & Policymaking – FindLaw Blotter.

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About vinhsu

Center City Philadelphia General Practice Law Firm with emphasis on Criminal Defense, Family Law, Immigration, Real Property, and Wills/Trusts/ Estate Planning. Licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
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