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In defined cases (obligatory), the accused must have a lawyer. If no defender is appointed, then the president of the court ex officio appoints the defender. In such situations, the defendant’s assets do not matter to the defendant.

A problematic and very common situation is that in which the defendant, due to his estate status, can not afford to appoint a lawyer of his choice. According to the provisions of art. Section 78 § 1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, an accused who does not have a counselor of his choice, may demand that he be appointed ex officio if he duly demonstrates that he can not bear the defense costs without prejudice to the necessary maintenance of himself and his family.

Demonstration of the financial status of the person seeking the appointment of an ex officio defender because of the impossibility of incurring defense costs may occur in any manner sufficient to illustrate the person’s financial condition. This may be a completed, publicly available court form – an application for an exemption from costs (available on the Ministry of Justice website), or a simple written request supported by relevant documentation (eg tax documents, earnings documents, etc.).

As far as the necessary documentation is concerned, the accused must show the amount of income he / she has earned, the amount of his / her possessions and, if so, what is the cost of living of the person or persons (eg child , Wife not working).

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This application for the appointment of an ex officio counsel may be considered or dismissed. If a request is made to the applicant, an outgoing defender will be appointed. His participation in the case may be withdrawn if the case proves that there are no circumstances to which the applicant has referred.

In case of dismissal of the motion for appointment of a defender ex officio, the accused is not entitled to appeal. He can only re-apply. Failure to appoint an ex-officio counsel may also be the subject of a plea raised in the appeal (because all decisions of the court of first instance may be appealed).

It should be pointed out that the above remarks on the need to prove ill-treatment also relate to a situation in which a party other than the defendant requests the establishment of a plenipotentiary for him or her of its own motion.