Betts v. Brady 316 U.S. 455 (1942): In 1942, Betts was charged with Robbery in Maryland. He did not have enough money to get a lawyer. He asked for a court appointed lawyer. The Judge denied the request, stating that appointed lawyers are only given to people who are charged with murder or with rape. Betts plead not guilty and went to his trial without a lawyer. Not surprisingly, he was found guilty and sentenced to 8 years in prison.

In 1942, the Supreme Court held that States are not required to give Defendants appointed lawyers in every case. The rule was that a determination of whether a person should get a lawyer was based on the totality of the circumstances surrounding the facts of the case.

TODAY IN TEXAS: If you are charged with a crime for which you can face jail time, you can get an appointed lawyer if you request one. Bexar County’s rule is that you can only get an appointed lawyer if you are not making too much money. How much is “too much” money depends on the individual courtroom.

This entry was posted in Criminal Defense and tagged Appointed Lawyer, Betts v. Brady.