TechShare.Indigent Defense is a web-based solution designed to streamline processes across the justice system to ensure defendants are appointed attorneys based on county regulations, attorneys are paid electronically, and counties are accurately representing how tax dollars are spent.
What is TechShare.Indigent Defense?
The TechShare.Indigent Defense program helps counties maintain quality, cost-effective indigent defense systems that meet the needs of local communities and the requirements of the Constitution and state law. Often times, the burden of indigent defense falls to counties and our programs help manage the costs to help counties effectively budget and run more efficient programs.
What counties are currently participating?
- Anderson County
- Bell County
- Brown County
- Coryell County
- Medina County
- Mills County
- Montgomery County
- Real County
- Tarrant County
- Uvalde County
- Victoria County
Can additional counties join the program?
Grants are available through the Texas Indigent Defense Commission (TIDC) to assist counties with implementing this software. TechShare has resources to apply for this funding on behalf of your county. Information about the grant is available on the TIDC website. Grant applicants should submit a brief Intent to Submit Application (ISM) by 5:00 p.m. March, 10, 2017.
How Does it Work?
The biggest benefit comes from automating compliance with the Fair Indigent Defense Act. Additionally, counties can receive, review, and maintain records for attorneys approved for public appointment for indigent defendants.
Defendants who cannot afford to hire a private attorney are constitutionally entitled to receive appointed counsel. Counties recognize this activity as providing indigent defense services.
Why is it Important?
The Texas Fair Defense Act of 2001 requires formal and fair procedures for appointing lawyers to indigent defendants. The system automates this process, which ensures compliance without depleting valuable resources.
What are the Benefits?
The system streamlines processes across all parties, ensuring defendants are appointed attorneys based on county regulations, attorneys are paid electronically, and counties are accurately representing how tax dollars are spent.
NOTE: Fiscal Year 2014 includes a one-time disbursement of $15M from unexpended balances in the Fair Defense Account. Actual and budgeted amounts for fiscal years 2013–2015 provided by the agency as of March 2014. Texas Indigent Defense Commission