Public defenders throughout the state will begin refusing cases this week.
As of Oct. 1, public defenders will have the option to reject cases from those who have violated probation, or those who are charged with traffic crimes and collections issues. It is the first time members of the Missouri Public Defender System will be able to turn away prospective clients.
The move is designed to give overworked public defenders more time to work with other clients. The Springfield News-Leader has more details on the issue.
Previously, The Law in Your Life spoke with public defender Cathy Kelly about the increasing need for public defenders to handle bulging caseloads. Next Friday, Kelly will speak to The Law in Your Life host Angela Wilson about the new decision and what it means to Missourians.