A defendant in a criminal case always has a right to an attorney.
According to the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the accused is provided the “assistance of counsel in all criminal prosecutions.” In addition, if a defendant cannot afford a lawyer, the court will appoint one to handle the case, at no cost.
A defense attorney’s role is of great importance in every facet of a criminal case, especially those with the potential for incarceration. They can conduct a thorough investigation of the facts and evidence surrounding a person’s case, advise an individual on their rights, explain what to expect at different stages of the criminal proceedings, negotiate a plea bargain, or get your case dismissed entirely.
The Difference Between a Public Defender & a Hired Attorney
Whether the lawyer is hired by the defendant or appointed by the government, courts have interpreted the Sixth Amendment right to counsel as guaranteeing the “effective assistance of legal counsel” to those facing criminal charges. While public defenders are considered competent and committed to protecting the rights of their clients, they often have an enormous amount of cases and have limited resources to provide an effective and personalized defense strategy. Furthermore, public defenders tend to push for plea bargains instead of taking each case to trial.
At The Law Offices of Daniel J. Miller, we are dedicated to helping you obtain the most favorable outcome possible. With more than 20 years of experience, our attorneys have a thorough understanding of Virginia law to help you navigate through the complexities of your case.