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The Office of the Indigent Defense Coordinator (IDC) assigns attorneys in all cases where a person is constitutionally entitled to an attorney and the court has determined that they are indigent and do not have the financial ability to hire one. These cases include criminal felony, misdemeanor, extradition and appellate cases, juvenile delinquency and dependency cases, and mental health commitment cases.
IDC does not represent clients or give legal advice. IDC functions as a business office making attorney assignments, paying appointed attorneys’ fees and case related expenses, maintaining databases, and assisting with quality control throughout the court system.
IDC assigns all cases to the Public Defender, Legal Defender or IDC Attorneys. The Public Defender and Legal Defender are County Departments, and IDC Attorneys are private attorneys who have agreed to provide legal services at a contracted rate and submit their bills to IDC for review and payment.
Cases are referred to IDC by the Cochise County Superior and Justice Courts for assignment of counsel. Generally, cases are first referred to the Public Defender and Legal Defender offices. Cases that are not accepted by the Public Defender or the Legal Defender are then referred to IDC Attorneys. Ethical conflicts of interest or existing workload capacity are the two common reasons cases are not accepted.