Can Ability to Raise Bail Money Be the Reason to Cancel Public Defender's Appointment ?
In People v. Valdery, 41 Ill. App. 3d 201, 202, 354 N.E.2d 7 (1976), the public defender's appointment was vacated after the defendant was able to raise $ 3,500 from his family for bail.
The defendant informed the court that his family would not allow him to use the money to pay an attorney and that he did not have the funds to pay for one himself.
The court refused to reappoint the public defender, and the defendant proceeded pro se.
Noting that the right to counsel is fundamental, the Third District reversed, applying cases holding that the fact that a defendant is able to obtain funds from others does not in itself establish that he or she is not indigent. Valdery, 41 Ill. App. 3d at 203-04.
The court remanded for a determination of the defendant's actual financial status and whether he qualified for court-appointed counsel. Valdery, 41 Ill. App. 3d at 204; see also People v. Eggers, 27 Ill. 2d 85, 88, 188 N.E.2d 30 (1963).