Cayuga County spent more than $965,000 on legal services for those who cannot afford it in 2016, about $65,000 more than in 2015.
Lloyd Hoskins, executive director of the assigned counsel program, said the state refunded the county about $260,000 leaving the county’s net expense for indigent defense at about $705,000.
The cost and case breakdown is part of the program’s annual report, showing that 37 participating attorneys helped address 325 felony cases and 822 misdemeanor cases. The average cost of a felony case, Hoskins told county legislators at the Judicial and Public Safety Committee meeting Wednesday night, was about $810. The average cost of a misdemeanor case was about $300.
“Pretty good costs when you compare it to going out and retaining an attorney, which would be three or four times that amount,” he said.