The Criminal Justice Act
The general procedures for the appointment of counsel in criminal cases in the Northern District of West Virginia are set forth in the Criminal Justice Act, codified at 18 U.S.C. § 3006A. The Act requires each United States District Court to have a plan for furnishing representation “for any person financially unable to obtain adequate representation . . . ” 18 U.S.C. § 3006A. In the Northern District of West Virginia the plan provides that representation to qualified defendants will be provided by the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Northern District of West Virginia . . . pursuant to subsections (g)(1) and (g)(2)(B) of the Criminal Justice Act.
The Criminal Justice Act authorizes the appointment of counsel for various individuals, including those charged with felonies or Class A misdemeanors, those alleged to have violated probation or supervised release and material witnesses in custody. See 18 U.S.C. § 3006A (a)(1). In addition, when the interests of justice so require, the court may appoint counsel for individuals charged with Class B or C misdemeanors or for individuals seeking habeas corpus relief. See 18 U.S.C. §3006A (a)(2).
More information regarding the Criminal Justice Act (CJA) and information regarding how to become a member of the CJA panel can be found through the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Northern District of West Virginia.