Bill Text: TX SB583 | 2019-2020 | 86th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to the appointment of a local public defender's office to represent indigent defendants in criminal cases.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-02-21 - Referred to Criminal Justice [SB583 Detail]

Download: Texas-2019-SB583-Introduced.html
  86R6519 AJZ-D
 
  By: Hinojosa S.B. No. 583
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the appointment of a local public defender's office to
  represent indigent defendants in criminal cases.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Article 26.04, Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended by amending Subsections (a) and (f) to read as follows:
         (a)  The judges of the county courts, statutory county
  courts, and district courts trying criminal cases in each county,
  by local rule, shall adopt and publish written countywide
  procedures for timely and fairly appointing counsel for an indigent
  defendant in the county arrested for, charged with, or taking an
  appeal from a conviction of a misdemeanor punishable by confinement
  or a felony. The procedures must be consistent with this article
  and Articles 1.051, 15.17, 15.18, 26.05, and 26.052 and must
  provide for the priority appointment of a public defender's office
  as described by Subsection (f). A court shall appoint an attorney
  from a public appointment list using a system of rotation, unless
  the court appoints an attorney under Subsection (f), (f-1), (h), or
  (i). The court shall appoint attorneys from among the next five
  names on the appointment list in the order in which the attorneys'
  names appear on the list, unless the court makes a finding of good
  cause on the record for appointing an attorney out of order. An
  attorney who is not appointed in the order in which the attorney's
  name appears on the list shall remain next in order on the list.
         (f)  In a county with [in which] a public defender's office
  [is created or designated under Article 26.044], the court or the
  courts' designee shall give priority in appointing that office to
  represent the defendant in the criminal proceeding, including a
  proceeding in a capital murder case.  However, the court is not
  required to appoint the public defender's office if:
               (1)  the court makes a finding of good cause on the
  record for appointing [has reason to appoint] other counsel; [or]
               (2)  the appointment would be contrary to the office's
  written plan under Article 26.044;
               (3)  the office is prohibited from accepting the
  appointment under Article 26.044(j); or
               (4)  a managed assigned counsel program also exists in
  the county and an attorney will be appointed under that program.
         SECTION 2.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2019.
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