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Indigent

Definition - What does Indigent mean?

Indigent refers to a person who is extremely poor and is unable to provide himself or herself with the basic necessities of life. In terms of law, indigent is a person who is unable to afford or hire a defense lawyer in a criminal court case.

Justipedia explains Indigent

In case the court finds a person indigent, it is the court's responsibility to find a public prosecutor to take up his or her case. This right was determined by the famous case Gideon v. Wainright (1963) when a letter from a prisoner reached Abe Fortas, a famous Washington attorney of that time. Abe decided to take up the case for free.

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