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Attorneys review SJC decisions
The Supreme Judicial Court last month in three separate decisions reviewed standards assessing an individual's ability to pay for legal counsel and handed down rulings.
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.
Originally posted by JayFlores
I dont know if you're aware, but there is no such thing as a free defense. If you cant afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you. AT COST. They add the cost to your probation fees, "court costs" etc. If you go to prison, when you get out there is usually a lien against your drivers license. Thats how the state of Florida works anyway.
Originally posted by OhZone
I have seen those public defender liens, but I didn't know that Fla put a lien against your driver's license. Does that mean you can't drive? This business of taking your driver's license is depriving you of being able to earn a living, but they do not care.
Originally posted by Wrabbit2000
I can see retirement accounts. Why should my tax dollars, especially on the state and local trial level where it's damn near directly MY money, go to pay the defense of a criminal with a fat nest egg? I should lose mine so they can keep theirs? Well... No. Don't get jammed up in the criminal courts.
The 'cohabitant' issue.. Wow.. that's a whole different matter! How do they figure that someone's girlfriend who may have just cut them off from everything and quietly looking for ways to dump the bum anyway, should disqualify someone who really has no money from a defense?
Talk about a mix of logic and insanity, IMO.