Overhaul set for indigent defense in Gregg County

Overhaul set for indigent defense in Gregg County
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 - 8:40am

The senior district judge for Gregg County told commissioners Tuesday to expect a remake in how poor people charged with misdemeanors receive free legal counsel.

The system outlined by 188th District Judge David Brabham is in the planning stages, but it is envisioned as providing more timely contact between defendants and their court-appointed counsel.

“That’s one of the issues this is going to address,” Brabham said, responding to Commissioner John Mathis’ comment about complaints from defendants who say they do not get to see their lawyer until trial.

The plan also would have saved some $214,000 of the $474,000 spent on court-appointed lawyers for people charged with misdemeanors during fiscal 2013, that year’s budget indicates.

Devised by the five-member board of judges that Brabham leads, the plan focuses on the County Court at Law No. 1, where Judge Becky Simpson saw 4,035 misdemeanor cases during the last fiscal year ending in September 2013.

Read more from the Longview News-Journal.

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