2013 Code of Alabama
Title 15 - CRIMINAL PROCEDURE.
Chapter 12 - DEFENSE OF INDIGENTS.
Section 15-12-23 - Appointment and compensation of counsel - Post-conviction proceedings.
(a) In proceedings filed in the district or circuit court involving the life and liberty of those charged with or convicted of serious criminal offenses including proceedings for habeas corpus or other post-conviction remedies, the trial or presiding judge or chief justice of the court in which the proceedings may be commenced or pending may appoint counsel through an indigent defense system approved by the office to represent and assist indigent defendants if it appears to the court that the indigent defendant is unable financially or otherwise to obtain the assistance of counsel and desires the assistance of counsel and it further appears that counsel is necessary in the opinion of the judge to assert or protect the right of the indigent defendant.
(b) In proceedings filed in the district or circuit court involving the life and liberty of those persons charged or adjudicated for juvenile offenses including proceedings for habeas corpus or other post-conviction remedies, and in post-trial motions or appeals in the proceedings, the trial or presiding judge or chief justice of the court in which the proceedings may be commenced or pending may appoint counsel through the indigent defense system for such cases to represent and assist those persons so charged or adjudicated if it appears to the court that the person charged or adjudicated is unable financially or otherwise to obtain the assistance of counsel and it further appears that counsel is necessary in the opinion of the judge to assert or protect the rights of the person, or court appointed counsel is otherwise required by law or rule of court.
(c) It shall be the duty of the counsel as provided in subsections (a) and (b) as an officer of the court and a member of the bar to represent and assist the indigent defendant in the proceedings.
(d) Any appointed counsel shall be entitled to receive for his or her services a fee to be approved by the office. The amount of the fee shall be based on the number of hours spent by counsel in working on the proceedings. The fee shall be computed at the rate of seventy dollars ($70) per hour for time reasonably expended on the proceedings. The total fees to counsel for the proceedings shall not exceed one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500). Notwithstanding the foregoing, the maximum amount may be waived by the director for good cause shown. Counsel shall also be entitled to be reimbursed for any nonoverhead expenses reasonably incurred in the representation of his or her client, with any expense in excess of three hundred dollars ($300) subject to advance approval by the court as necessary for the indigent defense services and as a reasonable cost or expense. Reimbursable expenses shall not include overhead expenses. Fees and expenses of all experts, investigators, and others rendering indigent defense services to be used by counsel for an indigent defendant shall be approved in advance by the court as necessary for the indigent defense services and as a reasonable cost or expense. Retrials of any case shall be considered a new case for billing purposes. Upon review, the director may authorize interim payment of the attorney fees or expenses, or both.
(e) Claim for the fee shall be submitted, approved, and paid in the same manner as provided in subdivision (3) of Section 15-12-22.(Acts 1963, No. 526, p. 1136, §7; Acts 1971, No. 2420, p. 3851; Acts 1981, No. 81-717, p. 1204, §4; Act 99-427, p. 759, §1; Act 2011-678, p. 1862, §6.)
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