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Indigent? Right to free counsel? Not so fast...

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posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 03:16 PM
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It seemed the bedrock of the US justice system was to provide counsel, if one could not afford one in criminal matters

Well, times are changing, and so is this concept too.






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.



So in other words, if you have roommates, better fork over the dough if you want legal counsel.


edit on 4-8-2012 by loam because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 03:29 PM
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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.



posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 03:36 PM
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Its good when the feed works . How did he miss the ...
No ideas what this is about , its as foreign as europe in america
So i cant comment or participate in this topic
edit on 4-8-2012 by ZIPMATT because: the edit list should be as long as the number thats left there , being the stuff you'd cross out of notebooks because it was workings out , or whatever



posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 03:39 PM
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reply to post by JayFlores
 


Of course there is-- at least there is supposed to be in the case of indigents. This concept is very clear in US law.

What has changed, however, is the definition of indigent, rendering the entire concept meaningless with moves such as the one described in this thread.

edit on 4-8-2012 by loam because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 03:46 PM
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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.



posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 03:48 PM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


You and I completely agree on the points you made.

Retirement money.... yes.

Cohabitants...wtf?



posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 03:49 PM
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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. There is so much wrong with our legal system....I do not call it a justice system.flame:

That part of considering the money of other members of the household's money as your income likewise sucks.
You cannot get welfare or food stamps if anyone in the household has $3000 or more in savings. So you see these folks who lost their homes and moved in with their parents now have to suck up their parent's savings and put them on welfare. Me included - I'm afraid that I will run out of money before I run out of time. :



posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 03:50 PM
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I wonder if this will be appealed for constitutionality to the Circuit Court or the Supremes. Massachussetts's decision (which appears questionable from the little I saw) doesn't implicate all US law as corrupt or wrong.



posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 04:29 PM
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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.


I always wondered why convicts come out of prison without a license...
edit on 4-8-2012 by Xavier85 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 04:38 PM
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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.


well thats the whole point.

when they catch them driving without a license because they have no way of paying thousands of dollars in bills, they revoke their probation and send them back to jail where they can work for .15 cents an hour for their corporate overlord.



posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 05:05 PM
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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.


Because that person may not be a criminal. Do you really take the "justice" system in America for granted? The phrase is "innocent until proven guilty," not, "guilty from the get-go." Besides, if you want something to be mad about, be mad about the fact that your tax dollars are funding the deaths of innocent children across the world.



posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 06:00 PM
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reply to post by DestroyDestroyDestroy
 

What does ... Oh nvm... The topic is plenty without that loong trip off it.

If someone is innocent, good. They can use their funds to hire the best lawyer available or they can go cheap and cheesy. it depends on how much their freedom means to them.

Only after they are indigent, and broke as the term properly means, should they be getting any help from my tax dollars. You're confusing two things though. You're confusing the fantasy land funny money in Washington with the State and local budgets. Missouri can't print more money. When it's broke...we're screwed and thats all folks. Tax money for lawyers in local criminal trials comes from literal dollars I had recently.

I just don't believe counting OTHER people's money as part of the amount considered is anywhere near right. That part is flat out wrong.
edit on 4-8-2012 by Wrabbit2000 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 5 2012 @ 06:33 AM
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The bottom line is that if you aren't rich, or at least solidly middle class, you don't have a right to justice of any sort. With the way I've heard public defenders are, you might as well not even have a lawyer anyway.





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