Current as of: 2009
The public defender serves at the pleasure of the commissioners court.
(b) To be eligible for appointment as a public defender, a person must be a member of the State Bar of Texas.
(c) With the approval of the commissioners court, the public defender may employ assistant public defenders, investigators, secretaries, and other necessary personnel. An assistant public defender must be a licensed attorney and may perform the duties of a public defender under this article.
(d) A public defender's office consists of the public defender and the personnel employed by the public defender under Subsection (c).
(e) A public defender is entitled to receive an annual salary in an amount set by the commissioners court. Subchapter B, Chapter 152, Local Government Code, applies to the compensation of personnel and the payment of office expenses in the public defender's office.
(f) Except as authorized by this article, a public defender or an assistant public defender may not:
(1) engage in the private practice of law; or
(2) accept anything of value not authorized by this article for services rendered under this article.
(g) The commissioners court may remove a public defender or an assistant public defender who violates Subsection (f).
(h) The public defender or an assistant public defender shall represent each indigent person who is:
(1) charged with a criminal offense in Randall County punishable by confinement or imprisonment;
(2) a minor who is a party to a juvenile delinquency proceeding in the county; or
(3) entitled to representation under:
(A) Chapter 462, Health and Safety Code; or
(B) Subtitle C or D, Title 7, Health and Safety Code.
(i) If at any stage of the proceeding the judge determines that a conflict of interest exists between the public defender and the indigent person, the judge may appoint another attorney to represent the person. The attorney must be licensed to practice law in this state and is entitled to the compensation provided by Article 26.05.
(j) The public defender's office shall investigate the financial condition of any person the public defender is appointed to represent. The public defender's office shall report the results of the investigation to the appointing judge. The judge may hold a hearing to determine if the person is indigent and entitled to representation under this article.
(k) Except for the provisions relating to daily appearance fees, Article 26.05 applies to the public defender and an assistant public defender.
(l) The commissioners court may accept gifts and grants from any source to finance an adequate and effective public defender program.
U.S. Code Provisions: Arraignment