The Framers of our Constitution wanted to make sure every citizen was guaranteed fair treatment if accused of a crime. It was with this same intention to ensure accuracy and fairness for criminal defendants that the Bill of Rights was written.
If you are facing criminal charges, you need to be aware of these rights afforded to you. The Sixth Amendment of the Bill of Rights outlines a number of your rights. One of these rights speaks to a very important protection you have if you are arrested for a crime—the right to effective legal counsel.
Before taking a closer look at your right to a lawyer, let's review your other rights included in the Sixth Amendment.
If you are interested in learning more about your rights, read the following articles by Stangl Law:
- How to Use Your Fifth Amendment Right in Wisconsin
- Do Police Have to Read Me Miranda Rights in Wisconsin
- Understanding the One-Leg Stand Sobriety Test in Wisconsin and Your Right to Refuse
Criminal Defendant Rights Under the Sixth Amendment
Attorney Pat Stangl explains your 6th amendment protections, including several examples, this way:
"So, generally when people think about the Sixth Amendment, they think about their right to counsel, which is part of the Sixth Amendment. But the Sixth Amendment also includes the right to a speedy trial, the right to an impartial jury, the right to be informed of the nature of the charges, the right to be informed of the charges (maximum and minimum penalties involved), the right to the effective assistance of counsel, and also the right to what we call compulsory process. What that means is you have the right to subpoena witnesses. You have the right to use the force of law to compel people to testify at a trial even if they don't want to. So, the Sixth Amendment is really a bundle of rights."
Amendment VI of the Bill of Rights also provides criminal defendants the following protections:
- Right to trial by jury
- Right to local jury
- Right to a public trial
- Right to choose counsel
- Right to confront witnesses
As you can see, under the law you have many protections as a criminal defendant. It is important to make sure your rights are being respected, however.
If you are not afforded your rights and you are able to point this out in court with the assistance of a skilled attorney, you may be able to greatly improve your result. Having been denied your constitutional rights could even be grounds for dismissal.
Discuss the details of your case with a proven criminal defense lawyer if you suspect your rights were violated or are being violated. If you have already been convicted, a skilled attorney can help you determine if your case merits appeal.
If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Wisconsin, but the arresting officer failed to inform you of your 6th amendment right to an attorney by not reading you your rights, it is imperative for your defense that you contact a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney right away.
Your Right to a Lawyer in Wisconsin
If you are arrested, you have the legal right to request the counsel of an attorney. This should have been brought to your attention when the arresting officer read your rights to you under what's commonly known as the Miranda Rule.
You have likely heard this reading of your rights, even if you do not recognize it by the term, Miranda Rights. While there is no universal Miranda warning script law enforcement is required to read, a typical reading by police might go something like this:
"You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to speak to an attorney, and to have an attorney present during questioning. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you at the government's expense..."
Many people facing criminal charges understand it is in their best interest to not talk to the police without the presence of an attorney who is working on your behalf.
If you have been arrested, it is in your best interest to get in touch with your attorney as soon as you are able.
If you are facing criminal charges in Wisconsin and do not currently have an attorney, it is imperative you consult an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.
How to Hire a Lawyer if Your Rights Have Been Violated in Wisconsin
If you are facing criminal charges in Wisconsin and feel you were denied your rights under the Sixth Amendment, go beyond the public defender and contact an aggressive lawyer with experience successfully fighting to protect clients' rights in Wisconsin.
FREE 10-Minute Consultation
Madison, WI, based Attorney Patrick Stangl has over 32 years of experience fighting tirelessly to defend clients against criminal charges. If you are ready to discuss the details of your case and take the first step in building your defense, Attorney Stangl is happy to extend to you at no obligation a FREE 10-minute consultation to discuss your situation and your options.