Cheronis & Parente LLC

Criminal Defense Blog

ON BEHALF OF CHERONIS & PARENTE LLC   /   February 3, 2021

What is the right to an attorney?

When you face criminal charges, you have specific rights to ensure that you get fair treatment and the chance to defend yourself properly in court.

One of the rights you want to exert is your right to an attorney. You will hear this right read to you in the Miranda warning an officer gives you upon your arrest. According to the Sixth Amendment Center, this right mainly comes from the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The Amendment

In the Sixth Amendment, it states that you have the right to legal representation when facing criminal charges. The reason for this right is to assure the fairness of the system. It allows you to ensure that you have access to all the other rights afforded to you in the constitution, such as a speedy trial and the ability to confront witnesses.

The additional details

The right to counsel also provides the right to a court-appointed attorney. If the state finds that you cannot afford to pay for your own criminal defense attorney, then the state must provide one for you at no cost.

The issues

One of the biggest issues with this right is that states often create laws or rules that can make it difficult for you to qualify for free representation. It can be so restrictive to meet the requirements for a court-appointed attorney that you may not qualify for one but still be unable to actually pay for one on your own. The problem here is that you end up without representation in court, which can hurt your case.

It is incredibly important that everyone has access to legal assistance in any criminal case to ensure the overall fairness and integrity of the legal system.


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