If you are arrested for a crime, the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives you many important protections that you should not take for granted, including the right to a speedy trial, to an impartial jury, and to confront the witnesses against you. Another of these vital rights is your right to representation by an attorney. No matter what crime you have been charged with, the law governing your criminal case can be complicated, and you could have a number of procedural, constitutional, and other defenses that you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you raise. While these defenses may not always get the charges against you dismissed, they can be a powerful bargaining tool that can help you negotiate a good plea bargain for reduced charges and penalties.
You have a right to an attorney under the Sixth Amendment once criminal proceedings have begun against you. This is in addition to your right to an attorney under the Fifth Amendment, which gives you the right to an attorney during any police questioning. The Sixth Amendment gives you the following protections:
While your attorney’s duties will depend in part on your charges and the facts of your case, there are some crucial ways a criminal attorney can assist you in your case. These include the following:
If you cannot afford an attorney, you will need to ask the judge to appoint one for you. This rule applies if you are being charged with a misdemeanor or felony that could result in you being imprisoned. It also applies in juvenile delinquency cases. Important points to understand about the process include:
Under the Sixth Amendment, you also have a right to effective counsel whether you retain an attorney at your own expense or the court appoints one for you. This does not entitle you to a perfect defense, but does give you a right to an attorney that is not incompetent or negligent. If this right is violated, it would violate the Sixth Amendment’s right to a fair trial, and your conviction could be reversed upon appeal. In determining that this right was violated, the following must be shown:
If you were charged with a crime, you will need an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands all the defenses to your charges and is willing to fight for you. Check out our Case Results to learn how our experienced legal team has helped people like you and then start an online chat today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.