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Do I have the right to a lawyer?

The U.S. Constitution provides Americans with many rights, including the right to be represented by a lawyer in most criminal proceedings.

But you are probably more curious about whether the Constitution affords you the right to have a lawyer appointed to you, meaning that you don’t have to pay for the lawyer’s services.

In 1963, the U.S. Supreme Court held that criminal defendants who cannot afford to hire their own lawyer and face the possibility of incarceration have the right to free legal representation.

What that means is that you must prove to the court that you cannot afford a lawyer, and then a public defender will likely be appointed to your case if you face significant time in jail or prison.

However, even if you do qualify for a public defender, you might still want to choose to hire a private criminal defense lawyer. Here’s why:

Though most public defenders are good at what they do, they are so swamped by cases that your case will not get the attention it deserves.

While your public defender will be there for you in court, he or she will not have much time to devote to building your case, and possible defenses could be lost.

Although paying for a private lawyer might not be something that you want to do, your future and freedom is at stake, so you will want to have the best defense that you can afford.

Lafayette criminal defense attorney Joshua S. Guillory fights hard for his clients’ rights every step of the way, from the initial interrogation through the remainder of the criminal process. He consistently seeks the best outcome for his clients, no matter what charges they face.

You don’t just have the right to an attorney, you have the right to hire the best attorney that you can afford. For open discussion and honest answers, contact criminal defense attorney Joshua S. Guillory today.

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Meet Attorney Guillory

Attorney Joshua S. Guillory was born in Alexandria, Louisiana. Upon graduating high school from Alexandria Senior High, he enrolled in classes at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree. Josh was a member of Mu Kappa Tau, a national honor society for marketing majors, while attending... Read More

Joshua S. Guillory

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