Thursday, October 18, 2012

Cutbacks to Public Defender Availability in MA

As budgets get tighter, the courts are cracking down on who gets a Public Defender.  Why?  Because it's easier to do that than to hire more public defenders.  Still, any client with a public defender is likely to be just one of hundereds of clients that particular public defender has to juggle.  For the client, that translaters into very little attention to their case. 

Those rulings stipulate, among other things, that defendants' retirement accounts can be considered available income (save for penalty fees for early withdrawal), to negate a plea of indigence, and also that assets of co-habitants - a girlfriend, boyfriend and even their significant others' family if they live in the same home - are also considered resources that could render them ineligible for free public defense.

- John Steakley
Steakley Law - Stalnaker App Studios