In Waco, Checking on Defendants' Claims of Poverty

WACO — In recent months, criminal defendants requesting a court-appointed lawyer in McLennan County have occasionally received something very different: a visit from a detective.

Last November, the county assigned sheriff’s detective Eric Carrizales to investigate whether defendants requesting a lawyer are really as poor as they say they are. Local officials have praised the unusual idea as a way to save the county money by rooting out false claims by people who can afford to hire a private attorney. But the scheme has drawn criticism from criminal defense advocates, who warn that low-income defendants are being intimidated into waiving their right to ...

Full Story

Comment Policy

The Texas Tribune is pleased to provide the opportunity for you to share your observations about this story. We encourage lively debate on the issues of the day, but we ask that you refrain from using profanity or other offensive speech, engaging in personal attacks or name-calling, posting advertising, or wandering away from the topic at hand. To comment, you must be a registered user of the Tribune, and your real name will be displayed. Thanks for taking time to offer your thoughts.

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login | Sign-Up

Sign Up for The Brief

Our daily news summary