The need for a Criminal Law Lawyer Grand Rapids, MI can count on often comes without warning. You may know you need a lawyer to file a lawsuit when you’ve been aggrieved or when you want to get a divorce. You don’t always know you will get arrested and need a criminal lawyer.
Criminal lawyers are different than other types of lawyer in part because an individual facing charges for a crime is entitled to a criminal lawyer. Because of this, an individual charged with a crime will receive a court-appointed attorney if he or she is unable to hire a lawyer. People are not necessarily entitled to receive lawyers for their divorce or child custody issues. If one wants to sue another, neither are entitled to be provided an attorney. Certainly, one may hire an attorney in a myriad of situations that one may require the assistance of counsel. But in a criminal case, one charged with a crime has a right to have the assistance of an attorney in his or her defense.
The right to a criminal lawyer stems from the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution, which provides: “[i]n all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall … have the assistance of counsel for his defense.” The same guarantee exists in the Michigan Constitution. As a practical matter, this means that a person who can not afford an attorney receives an attorney appointed by the court. An attorney may be present at all important stages of a criminal case, from interrogation to sentencing.
Just because one is appointed an attorney does not mean that he or she cannot choose to hire a different attorney. There are many reasons why one may do so. Selecting the right lawyer is an important decision, perhaps one of the more pivotal decisions in a case. As a result, a person’s rights under the Sixth Amendment include the assistance of counsel of one’s own choosing.
The right to an attorney extends to all important parts of a criminal case, but that does not necessarily mean that an attorney will be appointed. A person must be determined to be indigent to be eligible for appointed counsel. One can be denied court-appointed counsel if he or she does not meet the criteria.
Furthermore, the right to assistance of counsel is not limitless. If an individual requires court-appointed counsel, he or she does not get to select which attorney is appointed by the court. Even if an individual can hire any attorney he or she would like, the judge can still place restrictions on allowing that individual to have new lawyers substitute into the case. For instance, if an attorney wishes to substitute in for another attorney on the day of trial but has not done any preparation for the trial and would require the trial to be adjourned by a few weeks, the judge does not have to grant the substitution.
Because it is such a critical decision, it is important that you find a lawyer that you feel comfortable representing you as early as practicable to prevent facing a scenario where you are unhappy with your attorney but cannot obtain a new attorney. Consider hiring an attorney from Blanchard Law, a Criminal Law Lawyer Grand Rapids, MI trusts, to represent you. Call (616) 773-2945 to speak to an attorney today.