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H.B. 272 Enrolled





Chief Sponsor: Kay L. McIff

Senate Sponsor: Lyle W. Hillyard

             7      LONG TITLE
             8      General Description:
             9          This bill requires the court, when making a determination of indigency for a defendant,
             10      to consider the reasonableness of the fees and expenses charge by privately retained
             11      defense counsel.
             12      Highlighted Provisions:
             13          This bill:
             14          .    amends the definition of compelling reason; and
             15          .    requires the court, when making a determination of indigency, to consider the
             16      reasonableness of fees and expenses charged by privately retained defense counsel.
             17      Money Appropriated in this Bill:
             18          None
             19      Other Special Clauses:
             20          None
             21      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             22      AMENDS:
             23          77-32-201, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2006, Chapter 49
             24          77-32-202, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2002, Chapter 263
             26      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             27          Section 1. Section 77-32-201 is amended to read:
             28           77-32-201. Definitions.
             29          For the purposes of this chapter:

             30          (1) "Board" means the Indigent Defense Funds Board created in Section 77-32-401 .
             31          (2) "Compelling reason" [may] shall include one or more of the following
             32      circumstances relating to the contracting attorney:
             33          (a) a conflict of interest;
             34          (b) the contracting attorney does not have sufficient expertise to provide an effective
             35      defense of the indigent; or
             36          (c) the defense resource is insufficient or lacks expertise to provide a complete defense.
             37          (3) "Defense resources" means a competent investigator, expert witness, or other
             38      appropriate means necessary, for an effective defense of an indigent, but does not include legal
             39      counsel.
             40          (4) "Indigent" means a person qualifying as an indigent under indigency standards
             41      established in Part 3, Counsel for Indigents.
             42          (5) "Legal aid association" means a nonprofit defense association that provides counsel
             43      and defense resources for indigent defendants.
             44          (6) "Legal defender's office" means a department of county government created and
             45      authorized by the county legislative body to provide legal representation in criminal matters to
             46      indigent defendants.
             47          (7) "Legal defense" means legal counsel, defense resources, or both.
             48          (8) "Participating county" means a county which has complied with the provisions of
             49      this chapter for participation in the Indigent Capital Defense Trust Fund as provided in
             50      Sections 77-32-602 and 77-32-603 or the Indigent Felony Defense Trust Fund as provided in
             51      Sections 77-32-702 and 77-32-703 .
             52          (9) "Serious offense" means a felony or capital felony.
             53          Section 2. Section 77-32-202 is amended to read:
             54           77-32-202. Procedure for determination of indigency -- Standards.
             55          (1) A determination of indigency or continuing indigency of any defendant may be
             56      made by the court at any stage of the proceedings.
             57          (2) (a) Any defendant claiming indigency who is charged with a crime the penalty of

             58      which is a class A misdemeanor or felony shall file with the court a fully complete affidavit
             59      verified by a notary or other person authorized by law to administer an oath and file a copy of
             60      that affidavit with the prosecuting entity. The affidavit shall contain the factual information
             61      required in this section and by the court.
             62          (b) A defendant claiming indigency who is charged with a crime the penalty of which
             63      is less than a class A misdemeanor is not required to comply with the requirements of
             64      Subsection (2)(a) and Subsection (4).
             65          (3) (a) "Indigency" means that a person:
             66          (i) does not have sufficient income, assets, credit, or other means to provide for the
             67      payment of legal counsel and all other necessary expenses of representation without depriving
             68      that person or the family of that person of food, shelter, clothing, and other necessities; or
             69          (ii) has an income level at or below 150% of the United States poverty level as defined
             70      by the most recently revised poverty income guidelines published by the United States
             71      Department of Health and Human Services; and
             72          (iii) has not transferred or otherwise disposed of any assets since the commission of the
             73      offense with the intent of establishing eligibility for the appointment of counsel under this
             74      chapter.
             75          (b) In making a determination of indigency, the court shall consider:
             76          (i) the probable expense and burden of defending the case;
             77          (ii) the ownership of, or any interest in, any tangible or intangible personal property or
             78      real property, or reasonable expectancy of any such interest;
             79          (iii) the amounts of debts owned by the defendant or that might reasonably be incurred
             80      by the defendant because of illness or other needs within the defendant's family;
             81          (iv) number, ages, and relationships of any dependents; [and]
             82          [(v) other relevant factors.]
             83          (v) the reasonableness of fees and expenses charged to the defendant by the defendant's
             84      attorney where the defendant is represented by privately retained defense counsel; and
             85          (vi) other factors considered relevant by the court.

             86          (4) Upon making a finding of indigence, the court shall enter the findings on the record
             87      and enter an order assigning defense counsel to represent the defendant in the case. The clerk
             88      of the court shall send a copy of the affidavit and order to the prosecutor.
             89          (5) If the county or municipality providing the defense counsel has any objections to or
             90      concerns with the finding of indigency and assignment of defense counsel or the continuing of
             91      indigency status and assignment of a public defender, it shall file notice with the court and a
             92      hearing shall be scheduled to review the findings and give the county or municipality the
             93      opportunity to present evidence and arguments as to the reasons the finding of indigency
             94      should be reversed.
             95          (6) (a) If the trial court finds within one year after the determination of indigency that
             96      any defendant was erroneously or improperly determined to be indigent, the county or
             97      municipality may proceed against that defendant for the reasonable value of the services
             98      rendered to the defendant, including all costs paid by the county or municipality in providing
             99      the defense counsel.
             100          (b) Subsection (6)(a) does not affect any restitution required of the defendant by the
             101      court pursuant to Title 77, Chapter 32a, Defense Costs.
             102          (c) A defendant claiming indigency has a continuing duty to inform the court of any
             103      material changes or change in circumstances that may affect the determination of his eligibility
             104      for indigency.
             105          (d) Any person who intentionally or knowingly makes a material false statement or
             106      omits a material fact in an affidavit for indigency is guilty of a class B misdemeanor.

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