Alabama Code Title 15. Criminal Procedure § 15-12-1

When used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

(1) Appointed counsel.  Any attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Alabama who is appointed by the court to represent an indigent defendant.

(2) Contract counsel.  Any attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Alabama, or a firm, association, corporation, or partnership of lawyers so licensed, executing a contract for the provision of indigent defense services.

(3) Director.  The Director of the Office of Indigent Defense Services.

(4) Indigent defendant.  Any person involved in a criminal or juvenile proceeding in the trial or appellate courts of the state for which proceeding representation by counsel is constitutionally required or is authorized or required by statute or court rule, including parents of children during the termination of parental rights hearings, who under oath or affirmation states that he or she is unable to pay for his or her representation, and who is found by the court to be financially unable to pay for his or her representation based on a written finding as further provided below that the person is indigent based on one of the following criteria:

a. A person that has an income level at or below 125 percent of the United States poverty level as defined by the most recently revised poverty income guidelines published by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, unless the court determines that the person is able to pay for the cost of an attorney to represent the person on the pending case.

b. A person that has an income level greater than 125 percent, but at or below 200 percent, of the most recently revised poverty income guidelines published by the United States Department of Health and Human Services and the court makes a written finding that not providing indigent defense services on the pending case would cause the person substantial hardship.

c. A person that has an income level greater than 200 percent of the most recently revised poverty income guidelines published by the United States Department of Health and Human Services and the person is charged with a felony, and the court makes a written finding that not providing indigent defense services would cause the person substantial hardship.

(5) Indigent defense services.  Those legal services that are necessary for representation of an indigent defendant.

(6) Indigent defense system.  Any method or mixture of methods for providing legal representation to an indigent defendant, including use of appointed counsel, use of contract counsel, or use of public defenders.

(7) Nonoverhead expenses.  The reasonable expenses incurred during and directly related to an appointed counsel's legal representation of an indigent defendant including, but not limited to, mileage, postage, and reasonable costs of photocopying.  Nonoverhead expenses do not include fees and expenses of all experts, investigators, and others rendering indigent defense services to be used by counsel for an indigent defendant;  office overhead expenses, such as professional license fees;  malpractice, casualty, health, general disability, and workers' compensation insurance;  office salaries;  ad valorem taxes;  office supplies;  office rent;  depreciation of office equipment and furniture;  continuing legal education expenses, including travel and lodging;  utilities;  bank fees and interest on loans;  professional fees;  and other overhead expenses or costs.

(8) Office.  The Office of Indigent Defense Services.

(9) Public defender.  Any attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Alabama, other than contract counsel or appointed counsel, who receives a salary for representing an indigent defendant.

(10) Trial court.  Any juvenile, district, or circuit court of the State of Alabama, not including municipal or probate courts of the State of Alabama.


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