Bartlesville, OK asked in Criminal Law for Oklahoma

Q: Hello what is the Federal guidelines in order to qualify for a court appointed lawyer in Oklahoma?

What is the federal poverty level for an individual? Basically how is this figured?

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1 Lawyer Answer
David A. Cincotta
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Oklahoma City, OK
  • Licensed in Oklahoma

A: Typically, someone who is out-of-custody will be required to complete an application for a court-appointed attorney (the application form is likely available through the court clerk, the court, or the public defender's office in Oklahoma County). The courts will require that you fully complete the form and include all income and all debts. You will also have to contact and receive price quotes from three different private attorneys. You will be placed under oath and must confirm that the information you provided is true and accurate to the best of your knowledge. From there, the court will make a determination as to whether you able to afford an attorney (whether it is all up front or whether you could afford to make payments). The court will also consider the amount of your bond (and generally won't care whether you posted it or someone else did for you). There is not a bright line amount or formula for determining whether you will receive a court-appointed attorney, but the only way to find out is by going through the steps above.

For a defendant that is in custody, the court generally will presume the person is unable to afford an attorney and appoint an attorney for the defendant without the necessity of the defendant completing an application.

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