Here’s the Problem: There Just Isn’t Enough Money to Pay for Constitutionally-Required Indigent Defense. And So Far, There’s No Solution.


More and more ineffective assistance of counsel appeals are making their way through the system, and they more and more may well be valid. Attorneys are leaving the criminal defense practice because they simply cannot afford to practice any longer.

The legal profession is a for-profit enterprise, however dedicated the professional may be. Fees must be earned to pay the expenses of doing business. The extremely low rates of indigent defense, coupled by rising costs, are driving more and more good and honorable criminal defense attorneys out of business. Public defender’s offices simply cannot handle the economic burdens placed upon them without the assistance of private practice criminal attorneys to fill in the gaps.

The reality is that there is not enough money to provide the constitutional right to counsel, in an effective and reasonable way, in this country. And while the situation is getting worse, the solutions are not being found. The crisis continues.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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