We want court appointed attorneys to use experts, and we want using experts to be easier for attorneys. Access to qualified expert services is essential to the provision of indigent defense. To better equip the North Carolina public defense community with the resources it needs to achieve fair and just outcomes for clients, Indigent Defense Services launched the pilot Expert Services Project.
This Project provides a means for Public Defenders and IDS Contract Attorneys to secure expert services without petitioning the court. Under this project, Public Defenders and IDS Contract Attorneys can complete this form to request expert assistance in digital evidence or drug chemistry evidence. Additional types of expert assistance may become available in the coming months.
- To apply for expert services funding from IDS, the Public Defender or IDS Contract Attorney shall complete the online intake form.
- Upon receiving this information, IDS will confirm receipt and then approve/deny the request.
- The Expert shall invoice IDS monthly for services provided.
Who can use this program?
IDS Contract Attorneys and Public Defenders, Capital Defenders, Appellate Defenders and their Assistants representing clients in adult criminal cases.
Is there an upfront cost?
No, the expert is responsible for billing and will be paid on a monthly basis by IDS.
Does a judge need to sign off on this?
No. This process replaces the need to seek funding from the court. For other types of expert assistance or assistance from a different drug chemistry or digital expert, attorneys may still seek funding from the court with an ex parte motion for the appointment of expert and the AOC-G-309 form.
If I submit a request, how long until I hear back from IDS?
You should hear back within about 3 business days. If you haven’t heard back, please contact Sarah.R.Olson@nccourts.org.
What type of assistance can these experts provide?
These experts can provide case review and consultation, assistance with trial preparation, and testimony, if needed.
What areas besides drug chemistry will be covered?
This is a pilot program. We hope to enter into contracts with additional types of experts in 2022 and will provide more information as it is available.
Will IDS help me find the right expert for my case?
Yes. Under this program, expert assistance from only a limited number of experts who enter into a contract with IDS will be available. If you need help finding the right expert in other forensic disciplines, IDS Forensic Resource Counsel Sarah Olson is available to assist.
If you have any questions about the Expert Services Project, please contact Sarah Olson at 919-354-7217.