2020 Code of Alabama
Title 15 - Criminal Procedure.
Chapter 12 - Defense of Indigents.
Article 2 - Appointed Counsel.
Section 15-12-22 - Appointment and Compensation of Counsel - Appeals.
Appointment and compensation of counsel - Appeals.
(a) In all criminal cases wherein an indigent defendant has an appeal which lies directly to an appellate court and the indigent defendant expresses his or her desire to appeal, the court shall cause to be entered upon its minutes a recital of notice of appeal.
(b) If it appears that the indigent defendant desires to appeal and is unable financially or otherwise to obtain the assistance of counsel on appeal and the indigent defendant expresses the desire for assistance of counsel, the trial court shall appoint counsel to represent and assist the indigent defendant on appeal, through the indigent defense system for such cases. The presiding judge of the court to which the appeal is taken shall have authority to appoint counsel through the indigent defense system for such cases in the event the trial court fails to appoint and in the event it becomes necessary to further provide for counsel. It shall be the duty of the counsel, as an officer of the court and as a member of the bar, to represent and assist the indigent defendant in the appeal.
(c) If appointed counsel is the appropriate method selected for an indigent defendant for the appeal from a decision in any trial court proceeding, he or she 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 the counsel in working on the appeal.
(1) The amount of the fee shall be based on the number of hours spent by the attorney in working on the prosecution of the appeal and shall be computed at the rate of seventy dollars ($70) per hour for time reasonably expended in the prosecution of the appeal, and any subsequent petition for writ of certiorari.
(2) The total fees awarded to any one attorney in any appeal and any subsequent petition for writ of certiorari, shall not, however, exceed two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), and shall be in addition to any fees awarded on the trial court level. In those cases where the state takes a pretrial appeal, appointed counsel shall be entitled to bill separately for services on the pretrial and post-trial appeals, up to two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) for each appeal. In those cases where a petition for writ of certiorari is filed in the Alabama Supreme Court, counsel shall be entitled to bill separately for all services rendered after the Court of Criminal Appeals or the Court of Civil Appeals overrules the application for rehearing, or after the decision of the Court of Criminal Appeals or the Court of Civil Appeals in the case of a pretrial appeal, up to a separate limit of two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500). Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this subdivision, the maximum amounts set forth above in this subdivision may be waived by the appropriate appellate court and 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 appellate court as necessary for the indigent defense services and as a reasonable cost or expense and shall be paid directly by the office upon submission from the attorney. 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 appellate court as necessary for the indigent defense services and as a reasonable cost or expense. Upon review, the director may authorize interim payment of the attorney fees or expenses, or both.
(3) Within a reasonable time after the disposition of the appeal, not to exceed 90 days, counsel shall submit a bill for services rendered to the office for review and approval and, if approved, the office shall recommend the bill for payment by the Comptroller. The Comptroller shall remit payment in a timely manner.
(Acts 1963, No. 526, p. 1136, §§4, 5; Acts 1971, No. 2420, p. 3851; Acts 1981, No. 81-717, p. 1204, §3; Acts 1984, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 84-793, p. 198, §1; Act 99-427, p. 759, §1; Act 2011-678, p. 1862, §6.)