1.  Before a circuit court judge appoints private counsel to represent an indigent defendant, the judge shall:

 (1)  Investigate the defendant’s financial status to verify that the defendant does not have the means to obtain counsel;

Terms Used In Missouri Laws 600.064

  • Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
  • Director: the state public defender director. See Missouri Laws 600.011
  • Litigation: A case, controversy, or lawsuit. Participants (plaintiffs and defendants) in lawsuits are called litigants.
  • Public defender: Represent defendants who can't afford an attorney in criminal matters.
  • Trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.
  • Veto: The procedure established under the Constitution by which the President/Governor refuses to approve a bill or joint resolution and thus prevents its enactment into law. A regular veto occurs when the President/Governor returns the legislation to the house in which it originated. The President/Governor usually returns a vetoed bill with a message indicating his reasons for rejecting the measure. In Congress, the veto can be overridden only by a two-thirds vote in both the Senate and the House.

 (2)  Provide each appointed lawyer, upon request, with an evidentiary hearing as to the propriety of the appointment, taking into consideration the lawyer’s right to earn a livelihood and be free from involuntary servitude.  If the judge determines after the hearing that the appointment will cause any undue hardship to the lawyer, the judge shall appoint another lawyer; and

 (3)  Determine whether the private counsel to be appointed possesses the necessary experience, education, and expertise in criminal defense to provide effective assistance of counsel.

 2.  No judge shall require a lawyer to advance personal funds in any amount for the payment of litigation expenses to prepare a proper defense for an indigent defendant.

 3.  If an employee of the general assembly is appointed to represent an indigent defendant during the time period beginning January first and ending June first of each year, or whenever the general assembly is in a veto session or special session or is holding out-of-session committee hearings, the judge who made the appointment shall postpone the trial and all other proceedings of any kind or nature to a date that does not fall within such time period or appoint a different lawyer who is not an employee of the general assembly to represent the defendant.

 4.  Private counsel appointed to represent an indigent defendant may seek payment of litigation expenses from the public defender system.  Such litigation expenses shall not include counsel fees and shall be limited to those expenses approved in advance by the director as reasonably necessary for the proper defense of the defendant.