The 6th Amendment: The Right to Representation

“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to … have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.” The Right to Counsel Clause is considered by some to be the most important right that is protected by the Sixth Amendment. The main purpose of the Sixth Amendment is to protect the rights of a person who is accused of a crime by the government. If a person is accused, he must be able to defend himself before the court of jurisdiction. Because legal matters and procedure often can be confusing, most people are not prepared to adequately defend themselves in court. Therefore, the Supreme Court decided that people must be allowed to have an experienced attorney to advise them and represent them in legal matters.

The roots of American laws are  found in English law. In England, people who were charged with felonies had no right to hire a private attorney, though hiring an attorney was allowed in special circumstances. After the Glorious Revolution in 1688, Parliament passed a law allowing people accused of treason the right to be represented by an attorney at trial. The Right to Counsel Clause was a reaction against the English practice of denying the assistance of an attorney in serious criminal cases and requiring defendants to appear before the court and defend themselves in their own words.

Most people have no courtroom training and may face the loss of their liberty not because they are guilty, but due to their incompetence in trial. Therefore, our adversarial system provides the right to competent counsel when a defendant is forced to stand trial for any offense.

The Carroll Law Firm believes every person has the right to counsel. We have attorneys available by appointment to consult with you regarding your case. A good attorney can make the difference between having a case dismissed in its entirety versus a conviction and the huge impact this will have on your life and wallet. Call the Carroll Law Firm at (623)551-9366 to meet with attorney for a consultation about your legal matter today.


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