Asked in Criminal Law for Colorado

Q: Charged with poss sched 2 in Co dont qualify for public def but I cant pay for a private

What happened to "if you can not pay for an attorney one will be appointed to you"?

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Brian K. McHugh
Brian K. McHugh
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Littleton, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: An excellent question and one the courts have struggled with. A more accurate way to describe the reality of the situation is "a public defender will appointed if you qualify based on their income guidelines".

There are many people charged with crimes whose income is too high to qualify for a public defender, but who do not earn enough to hire a private attorney. One effort that has been made to help such people are attorneys who agree to accept cases at a reduce fee or who accept payment plans. Most courts keep a list of these "low pay/slow pay" attorneys. It is not a perfect solution by any means, but it does provide some assistance to defendants who don't qualify for the public defender, but can't afford to hire a private attorney at the going rate.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.