Not everyone can afford a skilled criminal defense attorney when they’re accused of a crime, but representing yourself is usually not a good idea, either. While most states and counties provide legal services for indigent defendants, public defenders often carry a large caseload. If you can’t hire a criminal attorney in Woodrow, TX, working with the Texas Tech Criminal Defense Clinic in Lubbock may be a good solution.
Your right to legal counsel
The Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees citizens the right to legal counsel in federal prosecutions. If you’ve been charged with a state crime, according to the Sixth Amendment Center, the Texas state Constitution guarantees that “‘[i]n all criminal prosecutions the accused . . . shall have the right of being heard by himself or counsel, or both . . .,’ and this same promise appears word for word in Texas’ statutes. Under Texas law, an indigent defendant is entitled to appointment of counsel ‘in any adversary judicial proceeding that may result in punishment by confinement,’ including on direct appeal.”
In short, the two constitutions guarantee that you have the right to an attorney if you’re prosecuted in both federal and state court—even if you can’t afford to hire an attorney on your own. The idea is that everyone is entitled to the same legal help no matter their background—and although that subject is hotly debated among legal activists, the bottom line is that if you want a lawyer, you can get one.
Texas Tech Criminal Defense Clinic in Lubbock, TX
If you can’t afford to hire your own criminal attorney in Woodrow, TX, you can contact the Texas Tech Criminal Defense Clinic. This clinic is run and supervised by seasoned attorneys, but the legal help is provided by current law school students. The students gain experience representing criminal defendants, and the indigent defendants get free legal representation.
If you’re worried about being represented by a law student, rest assured that each student is carefully vetted and supervised by practicing attorneys. State law allows students to represent defendants as long as they’re supervised. Like any criminal defense representation, your clinic representative will handle the entirety of your case, from an initial intake all the way through jury trial (if applicable). Your representation might advise you to accept a plea deal, or they may be able to get the case dismissed before trial—it all depends on the specific facts of the case and whether the prosecution is willing to make a deal.
While you always have the opportunity to represent yourself in any legal proceeding, most attorneys will advise that you not take this approach. Even if you’re a lawyer yourself, it is difficult to present an objective defense on your own behalf. You can always benefit from working with someone who knows the law inside and out, who can evaluate the case on its merits—without the emotions that often come along with criminal accusations.
When you need a criminal defense lawyer in Woodrow, TX, call the Law Office of Rob Biggers today.
**This Blog/Website is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog/website you understand that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and the Blog/Website publisher. The Blog/Website should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.**
Categorised in: Criminal Law