(a) If a defendant is provided legal assistance, either through the public defender or private counsel appointed by the court, upon conclusion of the criminal proceedings in the trial court, or upon the withdrawal of the public defender or appointed private counsel, the court shall consider the available information concerning the defendant’s ability to pay the costs of legal assistance and may, after notice, as provided in subdivision (b), hold a hearing to make a determination of the present ability of the defendant to pay all or a portion of the cost thereof. Notwithstanding the above, if the court has ordered the probation officer to investigate and report to the court pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 1203, the court may hold such a hearing. The court may, in its discretion, hold one such additional hearing within six months of the conclusion of the criminal proceedings.
(b) Concurrent with counsel or legal assistance being furnished by the court, the court may order the defendant to appear before a county officer designated by the court to make an inquiry into the ability of the defendant to pay all or a portion of the legal assistance provided. Prior to the furnishing of counsel or legal assistance by the court, the court shall give notice to the defendant that the court may, after a hearing, make a determination of the present ability of the defendant to pay all or a portion of the cost of counsel. The court shall also give notice that, if the court determines that the defendant has the present ability, the court shall order him or her to pay all or a part of the cost. The notice shall inform the defendant that the order shall have the same force and effect as a judgment in a civil action and shall be subject to enforcement against the property of the defendant in the same manner as any other money judgment.
(c) The provisions of this section shall apply only in a county in which the board of supervisors adopts a resolution which elects to proceed under this section.
(d) This section shall apply only when the defendant is convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor.
(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 62, Sec. 2. (SB 355) Effective January 1, 2018.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018