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Making Sixth Amendment Right to Counsel A Reality
September 20, 2010
The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees an accused the right to be represented by a lawyer in a serious criminal prosecution. But what if the defendant cannot afford a lawyer?
In the federal courts, a 1964 law – the Criminal Justice Act – provides for compensation of court-appointed lawyers.
The Act authorizes reimbursement of reasonable out-of-pocket expenses and payment of expert and investigative services necessary for an adequate defense. More than 10,000 private “panel attorneys” accept Criminal Justice Act assignments each year. They represent the vast majority of persons who are prosecuted in federal courts.
You can learn more about the Criminal Justice Act here.