Texas Code of Criminal Procedure - CRIM P Art. 26.05. [494a] Compensation of Counsel Appointed to Defend




(a) A counsel, other than an attorney with a public defender's office or an attorney employed by the office of capital and forensic writs, appointed to represent a defendant in a criminal proceeding, including a habeas corpus hearing, shall be paid a reasonable attorney's fee for performing the following services, based on the time and labor required, the complexity of the case, and the experience and ability of the appointed counsel:

(1) time spent in court making an appearance on behalf of the defendant as evidenced by a docket entry, time spent in trial, and time spent in a proceeding in which sworn oral testimony is elicited;

(2) reasonable and necessary time spent out of court on the case, supported by any documentation that the court requires;

(3) preparation of an appellate brief and preparation and presentation of oral argument to a court of appeals or the Court of Criminal Appeals;  and

(4) preparation of a motion for rehearing.

(b) All payments made under this article shall be paid in accordance with a schedule of fees adopted by formal action of the judges of the county courts, statutory county courts, and district courts trying criminal cases in each county.  On adoption of a schedule of fees as provided by this subsection, a copy of the schedule shall be sent to the commissioners court of the county.

(c) Each fee schedule adopted shall state reasonable fixed rates or minimum and maximum hourly rates, taking into consideration reasonable and necessary overhead costs and the availability of qualified attorneys willing to accept the stated rates, and shall provide a form for the appointed counsel to itemize the types of services performed.  No payment shall be made under this article until the form for itemizing the services performed is submitted to the judge presiding over the proceedings or, if the county operates a managed assigned counsel program under Article 26.047 , to the director of the program, and until the judge or director, as applicable, approves the payment.  If the judge or director disapproves the requested amount of payment, the judge or director shall make written findings stating the amount of payment that the judge or director approves and each reason for approving an amount different from the requested amount.  An attorney whose request for payment is disapproved or is not otherwise acted on by the 60th day after the date the request for payment is submitted may appeal the disapproval or failure to act by filing a motion with the presiding judge of the administrative judicial region.  On the filing of a motion, the presiding judge of the administrative judicial region shall review the disapproval of payment or failure to act and determine the appropriate amount of payment.  In reviewing the disapproval or failure to act, the presiding judge of the administrative judicial region may conduct a hearing.  Not later than the 45th day after the date an application for payment of a fee is submitted under this article, the commissioners court shall pay to the appointed counsel the amount that is approved by the presiding judge of the administrative judicial region and that is in accordance with the fee schedule for that county.

(d) A counsel in a noncapital case, other than an attorney with a public defender's office, appointed to represent a defendant under this code shall be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses, including expenses for investigation and for mental health and other experts.  Expenses incurred with prior court approval shall be reimbursed in the same manner provided for capital cases by Articles 26.052(f) and (g) , and expenses incurred without prior court approval shall be reimbursed in the manner provided for capital cases by Article 26.052(h) .

(e) A majority of the judges of the county courts and statutory county courts or the district courts, as appropriate, trying criminal cases in the county may remove an attorney from consideration for appointment if, after a hearing, it is shown that the attorney submitted a claim for legal services not performed by the attorney.

(f) All payments made under this article shall be paid from the general fund of the county in which the prosecution was instituted or habeas corpus hearing held and may be included as costs of court.

(g) If the judge determines that a defendant has financial resources that enable the defendant to offset in part or in whole the costs of the legal services provided to the defendant in accordance with Article 1.051(c) or (d), including any expenses and costs, the judge shall order the defendant to pay during the pendency of the charges or, if convicted, as court costs the amount that the judge finds the defendant is able to pay.  The defendant may not be ordered to pay an amount that exceeds:

(1) the actual costs, including any expenses and costs, paid by the county for the legal services provided by an appointed attorney;  or

(2) if the defendant was represented by a public defender's office, the actual amount, including any expenses and costs, that would have otherwise been paid to an appointed attorney had the county not had a public defender's office.

(h) Reimbursement of expenses incurred for purposes of investigation or expert testimony may be paid directly to a private investigator licensed under Chapter 1702, Occupations Code, or to an expert witness in the manner designated by appointed counsel and approved by the court.

(i) Repealed by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., ch. 984 (H.B. 1754), § 15(1).





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