The Right to Retain an Attorney
According to the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, a criminal defendant has the right to be represented by an attorney during trial. Furthermore, if a defendant cannot afford an attorney, the court will appoint one to handle the case, at no cost to the defendant.
It is important to understand that a suspect has the right to a lawyer in almost every phase of the criminal process, often from arrest through the first appeal after conviction. For example, if a criminal suspect is interrogated by police, he or she has the right to ask for an attorney and remain silent.
The following are the main responsibilities of a criminal defense lawyer:
- Advise clients of their rights
- Explain what to expect at various stages of the criminal process
- Ensure their clients’ constitutional rights are not violated
- Negotiate a plea bargain with the court
- Investigate the facts and evidence and cross-examine prosecution witnesses
Should I Let a Public Defender or a Private Lawyer Represent Me?
While public defenders are free of charge and quite competent when it comes to their knowledge of the legal system, they often have massive caseloads and limited resources. In addition, public defenders typically push for plea bargains instead of taking each case to trial.
At Saint & Watzke, PLLP, we are committed to either getting your charges reduced or your case dismissed entirely. Our Broken Arrow criminal defense lawyer can investigate your case and collect evidence necessary to develop an effective and personalized defense strategy just for you. Do not hesitate to get the legal help necessary to obtain the most favorable outcome possible.