We’ve Been Helping CJA Attorneys for 20+ Years. Our Experience Is Your Advantage.
We’ve helped hundreds of CJA attorneys across Arizona provide their clients the best representation possible. Here are just a few of the ways we can assist you with your next CJA case:
– Discovery review and analysis
– Defense theory development
– Discovery development
– Witness development and interviews
– Witness nullification
– In-depth background investigations
– Evidence collection, review, analysis and storage
– Scene recreation
– Trial preparation and assistance
– Exhibit preparation
– Witness preparation
– Jury selection
– Much More
Putting our experience to work for you could not be easier – simply complete CJA Form 21 or, in death penalty-eligible cases, CJA Form 31. Under the CJA, attorneys are entitled to investigative services worth up to $800 in value without prior approval from the court. When prior approval is sought and granted, services up to $2,400 may be obtained. Call us today at (520) 882-2723 or (602) 358-7759 to get started.
The Statutory Basis for “Investigative, Expert and Other Services” Under the CJA
Under the Criminal Justice act, each U.S. District Court must establish “a plan for furnishing representation for any person financially unable to obtain adequate representation.” 18 USC 3006A(a). Though seemingly limited in scope, the statute anticipates a circumstance under which representation by counsel will not constitute “adequate representation.” To that end, the statute requires U.S. District Courts to establish a plan for representation of indigent clients that includes not only counsel, but also “investigative, expert, and other services necessary for adequate representation.” 18 USC 3600A(a).
18 USC 3600A(e) – “Services Other Than Counsel”
The Criminal Justice Act expressly allows CJA attorneys to obtain professional services, including investigative services, via two methods – upon request and without prior request.
Under the first scenario, counsel can request additional services through ex parte application. If the court then determines that the services are necessary and that the person being represented is financially unable to obtain them, the court will authorize counsel to obtain up to $2,400 of such services.
Alternatively, a CJA-appointed attorney may be entitled to investigative services without prior approval from the court. The statute provides that appointed counsel may obtain “investigative, expert, and other services” without prior authorization if such services are necessary for “adequate representation.” Services obtained without prior request are limited to $800 and are subject to review by the court.
When Are Investigative Services “Necessary” for Adequate Representation?
The Ninth Circuit has not interpreted the statute as requiring a high bar of necessity for investigative services to be obtained without prior court approval. For instance, the test articulated by the Ninth Circuit in U.S. v. Bass require only that additional services be approved by the court in “circumstances in which a reasonable attorney would engage such services for a client having the independent financial means to pay for them.” U.S. v. Bass, 477 F. 2d 723, 726 (9th Cir. 1973).
What Does This Mean for CJA Attorneys in Arizona and Nationwide?
With investigative and expert services made so readily available by the Criminal Justice Act, there is no compelling reason to forego the advantage of investigative services. Even if your case is not headed to trial and the facts are largely undisputed, we can help achieve a downward departure in sentencing for your client.
The fact is, there is simply no reason not to put Arizona’s most experienced, effective and thorough team of investigators to work for you. Call us today at (520) 882-2723 or (602) 358-7759 or submit a case now to get started.