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Right to Legal Counsel

Right to counsel is a clause in the 6th Amendment which states that every person in a criminal prosecution shall have a right to an attorney. This right begins the minute they are arrested and continues through until the need for counsel has ended. If a person is unable to retain an attorney, the court must provide the person with counsel (an attorney).To learn more about right to counsel, you can read the following questions that have been answered by Experts.

Since the Right to Represent yourself pro se is applied through the constitution, is there any court ruling or other stated law that individual can reference in motioning for the judge to allow this right?

The constitution mentions nothing about a person acting pro se in their legal case. However, the Constitution does guarantee that every criminal defendant will be given the right to counsel. Usually, most courts will allow a person to represent themselves but this is not a law. This means, if a judge thinks a person needs counsel (an attorney); the judge can require that person to have an attorney assist them. Due to the technical nature of certain cases, the court sometimes feels that a litigant should have the experience of an attorney to assist them through the process. While you have a right to testify in your own defense and disagree with the ability of your attorney, the right to represent yourself is not a Constitutional right.

Does a Florida Public School teacher have a right to counsel in a disciplinary meeting?

Having an attorney present during a disciplinary meeting is always a good idea, especially when action is being taken against your teaching credentials. If you choose to have an attorney present, the attorney will need to file a letter of representation with the school administrator and principal. Once this is done, any communications between the school and yourself must first go through the attorney. You should be aware that there is no right to counsel in regards that the school would be expected to pay for your attorney. While you do have right to counsel to an extent, the cost of an attorney would be paid by you, not the school.

I am a soldier who has been included in an open investigation for adultery with a soldier in the unit. Do I need to seek counsel? What are my legal rights?

Being involved in a military investigation would warrant the need for an attorney. While you haven't been charged, you should still be prepared for anything that may arise from the investigation. Adultery charges could give your military career a black eye, so an attorney can work at protecting your career and your rights. You have a right to counsel, which means that you have a right to have an attorney. You also have the right to due process, which means that you are presumed innocent until the charges can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in court. You should speak with an attorney and find out if you have other rights that may benefit you in your currant situation.

Do I have the right to have an attorney present before taking a breathalyzer test?

There is nothing about taking a breathalyzer that requires an attorney. Therefore, you don't have a right to counsel for this process. Your attorney will step in when you go to court if you are charged with a DUI. In Florida, one of the stipulations of acquiring a Florida driver's license is that you agree to submit to a breathalyzer. You have the right to refuse a breathalyzer, however, if you refuse, your driver's license will automatically be suspended.

Dose the IRS have the right to continue to question you after asking for council?

A person has right to counsel when being questioned by law enforcement, however the IRS isn't, therefore your 6th Amendment rights won't protect you. However, you can politely decline to answer any further questions until you speak with an attorney. You can do so by applying your 5th Amendment right to not incriminate yourself.

Many people are unaware they have a right to counsel. Certain situations may apply to this rule, however when being questioned by law enforcement, a person has a Constitutional right to counsel. By not granting a person right to counsel when they request it, information acquired after that request may be suppressed. If you are in a situation where you were denied right to counsel, or just have questions regarding right to counsel, ask an Expert for experienced legal insight.
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