Under the United States Constitution, every citizen who is facing criminal charge has the right to be represented by a competent and experienced criminal lawyer. If in any case that he or she can not afford to hire one, he or she is entitled to have a court-appointed criminal lawyer. Within the United States Constitution, every citizen is afforded the right to be represented in a Tampa courtroom by a Tampa criminal lawyer. You are also afforded the right to competent and experienced legal representation for your defense. This does not just mean hiring a lawyer to advise you, but also to argue your case for you in court and defend you throughout the trial.
This Constitutional right also means that should you not be able to afford to hire a private Tampa criminal lawyer, you have the right to a court-appointed lawyer instead. This right is read to you via the Miranda rights when you are arrested. If you are to be considered eligible for a court-appointed lawyer, then your case must fall into one or more of the following:
- You have been charged with a Class A misdemeanor or felony
- You are a juvenile, charged with a juvenile delinquency offense
- You have violated your probation order
- You are under arrest and are therefore entitled to legal representation
- You have violated your order of supervised release or are awaiting modification, revision, enlargement, reduction, extension or revocation of such an order
- You are entitled to a mental condition hearing
- You are a material witness currently in custody
- You are entitled to a Tampa criminal attorney under the 6th amendment
- You are facing the loss of liberty
- You are entitled to have a lawyer appointed to you
It should be noted that if you are appointed a lawyer by the courts then the cost of that legal representation will be met by the state and the cost will be made known to the public by the judge at each stage of the trial and that the state is meeting this cost.
If you have a court-appointed lawyer then you cannot change them partway through your trial unless you can present sufficient evidence to the judge that a change is necessary. You may feel that they are not acting within your best interests or have evidence of serious malpractice against them. Even then the judge may still decline your request to change counsel. As an alternative, you can request your lawyer to apply to be removed from the case themselves, in which case a new lawyer will be appointed to you.
It is your right to be represented by an adequate and competent Tampa criminal lawyer, but your case could be dismissed in court if it is proven that your lawyer was not giving adequate representation to you. You could be re-tried at a later date or have all charges dropped because of their incompetence. If you are entitled to a court-appointed lawyer and are not provided with one, then you can bring a case of incompetence against the state in which you are being tried.
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