120.26 Legal representation to be provided.

(A)

(1) The joint county public defender shall provide legal representation to indigent adults and juveniles who are charged with the commission of an offense or act that is a violation of a state statute and for which the penalty or any possible adjudication includes the potential loss of liberty and in postconviction proceedings as defined in this section.

(2) The joint county public defender may provide legal representation to indigent adults and juveniles charged with the violation of an ordinance of a municipal corporation for which the penalty or any possible adjudication includes the potential loss of liberty, if the joint county public defender commission has contracted with the municipal corporation to provide legal representation for indigent persons charged with a violation of an ordinance of the municipal corporation.

(B) The joint county public defender shall provide the legal representation authorized by division (A) of this section at every stage of the proceedings following arrest, detention, service of summons, or indictment.

(C) The joint county public defender may request the Ohio public defender to prosecute any appeal or other remedy before or after conviction that the joint county public defender decides is in the interests of justice and may provide legal representation in parole and probation revocation matters and matters relating to the revocation of community control or post-release control under a community control sanction or post-release control sanction.

(D) The joint county public defender shall not be required to prosecute any appeal, postconviction remedy, or other proceeding, unless the joint county public defender is first satisfied that there is arguable merit to the proceeding.

(E) Nothing in this section shall prevent a court from appointing counsel other than the joint county public defender or from allowing an indigent person to select the indigent person's own personal counsel to represent the indigent person. A court may also appoint counsel or allow an indigent person to select the indigent person's own personal counsel to assist the joint county public defender as co-counsel when the interests of justice so require.

(F) Information as to the right to legal representation by the joint county public defender or assigned counsel shall be afforded to an accused person immediately upon arrest, when brought before a magistrate, or when formally charged, whichever occurs first.

(G) If a court appoints the office of the joint county public defender to represent a petitioner in a postconviction relief proceeding under section 2953.21 of the Revised Code, the petitioner has received a sentence of death, and the proceeding relates to that sentence, all of the attorneys who represent the petitioner in the proceeding pursuant to the appointment, whether an assistant joint county defender or the joint county public defender, shall be certified under Rule 20 of the Rules of Superintendence for the Courts of Ohio to represent indigent defendants charged with or convicted of an offense for which the death penalty can be or has been imposed.

(H) As used in this section:

(1) "Community control sanction" has the same meaning as in section 2929.01 of the Revised Code.

(2) "Post-release control sanction" has the same meaning as in section 2967.01 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 120.26

History. Effective Date: 01-01-2004