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The Florida Statutes

The 2001 Florida Statutes

Title V
Judicial Branch
Chapter 27
State Attorneys; Public Defenders; Related Offices
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Section 27.54, Florida Statutes 2001

27.54  Expenditures for public defender's office.--

(1)  All payments for the salary of the public defender and the necessary expenses of office, including salaries of assistants and staff, shall be considered as being for a valid public purpose. Travel expenses shall be paid in accordance with the provisions of s. 112.061.

(2)  No county or municipality shall appropriate or contribute funds to the operation of the offices of the various public defenders, except that a county or municipality may appropriate or contribute funds to:

(a)  Pay the salary of one assistant public defender whose sole function shall be to defend indigents charged with violations of special laws or with violations of ordinances of the county or municipality.

(b)  Employ legal and support staff to be supervised by the public defender upon certification by the public defender that inadequate resources will result in withdrawal from current cases or inability to accept additional appointments.

(3)  The public defenders shall be provided by the counties within their judicial circuits with such office space, utilities, telephone services, custodial services, library services, transportation services, and communication services as may be necessary for the proper and efficient functioning of these offices, except as otherwise provided in the General Appropriations Act. The public defender's offices shall also be provided with pretrial consultation fees for expert or other potential witnesses consulted before trial by the public defender; travel expenses incurred in criminal cases by a public defender in connection with out-of-jurisdiction depositions; out-of-state and out-of-jurisdiction travel expenses incurred by public defenders or by investigators of public defenders while attempting to locate and interrogate witnesses for the public defender in the defense of a criminal case; court reporter costs incurred by the public defender during the course of an investigation and criminal prosecution, which costs are certified by the public defender as being useful and necessary in the preparation of a criminal defense, provided that nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit the county from contesting the reasonableness of the expenditure in the court wherein the criminal case is brought; postindictment and postinformation deposition costs incurred by the public defender during the course of a criminal prosecution of an indigent defendant when such costs are certified by the public defender as being useful and necessary in the preparation of a criminal defense, provided that nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit the county from contesting the reasonableness of the expenditure in the court wherein the criminal case is brought; and the cost of copying depositions of defense witnesses taken by the state attorney when such costs are certified by the public defender as being useful and necessary in the preparation of a criminal defense, provided that nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit the county from contesting the reasonableness of the expenditure in the court wherein the criminal case is brought. The office space and utilities to be provided by the counties shall not be less than the standards for space allotment adopted by the Department of Management Services. The counties shall not provide less of these services than were provided in the previous fiscal year.

(4)  No public defender or assistant public defender shall receive from any county or municipality any supplemental salary, except as provided in this section.

History.--s. 5, ch. 63-409; s. 3, ch. 67-539; s. 4, ch. 72-327; s. 2, ch. 72-722; s. 3, ch. 73-216; s. 6, ch. 80-376; s. 4, ch. 85-213; s. 4, ch. 88-280; s. 1, ch. 89-118; s. 2, ch. 91-303; s. 140, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326; s. 141, ch. 95-147.


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