(a) In a noncapital case, if the defendant appears for arraignment without counsel, he or she shall be informed by the court that it is his or her right to have counsel before being arraigned, and shall be asked if he or she desires the assistance of counsel. If he or she desires and is unable to employ counsel the court shall assign counsel to defend him or her.
(b) In a capital case, if the defendant appears for arraignment without counsel, the court shall inform him or her that he or she shall be represented by counsel at all stages of the preliminary and trial proceedings and that the representation is at his or her expense if he or she is able to employ counsel or at public expense if he or she is unable to employ counsel, inquire of him or her whether he or she is able to employ counsel and, if so, whether he or she desires to employ counsel of his or her choice or to have counsel assigned, and allow him or her a reasonable time to send for his or her chosen or assigned counsel. If the defendant is unable to employ counsel, the court shall assign counsel to defend him or her. If the defendant is able to employ counsel and either refuses to employ counsel or appears without counsel after having had a reasonable time to employ counsel, the court shall assign counsel.
The court shall at the first opportunity inform the defendant’s trial counsel, whether retained by the defendant or court-appointed, of the additional duties imposed upon trial counsel in any capital case as set forth in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 1240.1.
(c) In order to assist the court in determining whether a defendant is able to employ counsel in any case, the court may require a defendant to file a financial statement or other financial information under penalty of perjury with the court or, in its discretion, order a defendant to appear before a county officer designated by the court to make an inquiry into the ability of the defendant to employ his or her own counsel. If a county officer is designated, the county officer shall provide to the court a written recommendation and the reason or reasons in support of the recommendation. The determination by the court shall be made on the record. Except as provided in Section 1214, the financial statement or other financial information obtained from the defendant shall be confidential and privileged and shall not be admissible in evidence in any criminal proceeding except the prosecution of an alleged offense of perjury based upon false material contained in the financial statement. The financial statement shall be made available to the prosecution only for purposes of investigation of an alleged offense of perjury based upon false material contained in the financial statement at the conclusion of the proceedings for which the financial statement was required to be submitted. The financial statement and other financial information obtained from the defendant shall not be confidential and privileged in a proceeding under Section 987.8.
(d) In a capital case, the court may appoint an additional attorney as a cocounsel upon a written request of the first attorney appointed. The request shall be supported by an affidavit of the first attorney setting forth in detail the reasons why a second attorney should be appointed. Any affidavit filed with the court shall be confidential and privileged. The court shall appoint a second attorney when it is convinced by the reasons stated in the affidavit that the appointment is necessary to provide the defendant with effective representation. If the request is denied, the court shall state on the record its reasons for denial of the request.
(e) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2000.
(Repealed (in Sec. 3) and added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 587, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 1999. Section operative January 1, 2000, by its own provisions.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018