Virginia Court Appointed Attorneys Request Denied
Certain Serious Misdemeanor Crimes No Longer Get Court Appointed Attorney In Virginia
The next time you’re facing a misdemeanor charge in Virginia, you may find that when you ask, “How can I get a court-appointed attorney,” that the answer will be, “You can’t!” In the final budget that was born out of the House and Senate conference committee, indigent defendants were short-changed by $3.5 million.
Prosecutors, who joined up through the Virginia Association of Commonwealth’s Attorneys, pressured the legislature to give them an advantage in the courtroom by cutting funds that in the past have gone to fund court-appointed counsel in misdemeanor cases.
People charged with a misdemeanor, which is just below the grade of felony, will not even have the option of court-appointed attorneys in the future on certain cases where the Commonwealth will waive jail time. The prosecutors and the legislature do not seem to consider the possibility of high fines, suspended licenses, and the mar of a misdemeanor criminal record to be worthy of the indigent having representation of an attorney. Also, a court appointed attorney will be paid ONLY $120 for a misdemeanor charge if a court appoints an attorney to defend you.
In order to protect your rights against certain types of misdemeanors in Virginia (those that the Commonwealth are not seeking jail time), you will now need to seek competent, retained counsel to ensure you have zealous representation to protect your good name, your security clearance, your employment, and anything else that may be negatively impacted by a criminal misdemeanor appearing on your next background check.
If you are seeking the help of a Virginia criminal attorney whom you can count on to fight for you, then strongly consider contacting the SRIS Law Group for help.
Our Virginia criminal lawyers do not do any court appointed work. We work only for you.