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Relating to reimbursement for the costs of legal services provided to an indigent defendant in a criminal case.
HB 3633 would stop indigent defendants from paying any amount that exceeds the actual costs that would have been paid to an appointed attorney had the county not had a public defender’s office. Currently, an individual whom has been sentenced to community supervision would reimburse the county in which the prosecution was instituted for appointed counsel. However, if this bill were to be enacted a judge would not be required to order payment for legal services from those who don’t have the financial resources that would enable payment. This bill also clarifies that if payment is ordered it must not exceed actual costs paid by the county for legal services. This bill would also not allow a court to revoke the community supervision of a defendant for failing to pay the costs of legal services.
05/08/15 Update: This legislation remains the same as when we originally reported on it in the House. Our recommendation remains the same. Second chamber sponsor is Senator West.
Original Analysis Below:
The state should not be practicing overcharging any party for their services. HB 3633 rectifies the current situation where some defendants are paying above the actual costs of the legal services that are being provided to them. We support this bill for preserving limited government.