You’ve watched enough crime and detective shows on Netflix to recognize the phrase “right to counsel”, but it might not hold any meaning until you find yourself being charged for a crime. If you are a criminal defendant in the United States of America, the Fifth and Sixth Amendments of the Constitution grant you the right to counsel. What does this mean, and how can you utilize your full constitutional rights?
Defining the Right to Counsel
Every defendant has the constitutional right to be represented by an attorney during trial. If you can’t afford your own attorney, the government will appoint an attorney to you. This is known as your right to counsel. In other words, you can’t be denied legal representation simply because you can’t afford an attorney’s fee.
How Does a Criminal Defense Attorney Help?
You attorney plays many vital roles throughout a criminal case. First, he advises you of your rights and explains what to expect through each unique stage of the criminal process. This is especially helpful for defendants who are not familiar with the legal system and would have no idea how to navigate its complexities without support.
A criminal defense attorney is also responsible for ensuring that your constitutional rights are not violated in court proceedings or through interactions with law enforcement. Though the legal system is designed to treat each person fairly, it is often the case that criminal defendants become the victims of corruption or unconstitutional actions.
When Can I Start Using My Right to Counsel?
You have the right to counsel in order to obtain support during every stage of the process, from arraignment and cross-examination to sentencing. An attorney may also negotiate a plea bargain with the court on the defendant’s behalf. The quicker you bring your attorney into your case and let your attorney take the reins, the better your outcome will be.
If you find yourself in need of counsel for any type of criminal charge, call Catania & Catania Attorneys at Law. Catania & Catania has served the Tampa, Florida area for more than 25 years with the type of dedication, personal attention, and persistence you want in your lawyer. Call 1(800) 253-5523 to schedule your free consultation today!