SENATOR VICTOR CRIST WANTS TO STOP THE STATE PROVIDING FREE LAWYERS FOR DEFENDANTS WHO LIE ON THEIR FINANCIAL AFFIDAVITS

State Senator Victor D. Crist (Republican Senator from Tampa) is doing some heavy lifting in trying to eliminate or reduce the number of Public Defender clients who should not be in the Public Defender’s office as clients. {read article in Florida Bar News} At this time of cut-backs in State funding for public services the Office of the Public Defender is under severe pressure. These pressures come from under-funding in the face of a major increase in their caseloads.
Many believe the Public Defender is accepting many “indigents” who have lied on their financial affidavits applying for “free” Public Defender attorneys.
Many criminal defense attorneys in Broward County have seen their former (private-pay) clients are now represented by the Office of the Public Defender. Since the Public Defender began in 2007 sending staff personnel into the jails to “pre-interview” arrestees their caseload has exploded.

The lack of oversight and lack of asset checks is the most likely cause and should be investigated.