The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides that in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to have assistance of counsel for his defense. Right to have an attorney present at the beginning of adversarial judicial proceedings (ajp). This usually means the initial appearance before the judge. An attorney will be appointed for a defendant if he or she is indigent. The Sixth Amendment does not require that there be an attorney appointed for discretionary review or appeals. In Missouri an attorney is appointed for trial and appeals. Have a right to counsel for all felony cases and for misdemeanors where there is a possibility of jail time.
No right to an attorney during a police investigation except:
1. when questioned (Miranda)
2. At a line-up except that at any line-up after formal proceedings have begun, an attorney may be present
3. When incriminating statements are taken by an undercover officer after formal proceedings have begun. Note that no Miranda is required when an undercover officer is involved because courts say that suspect wouldn't know it's the police. Therefore, no coercive police atmosphere.
This right, like Miranda, may be waived as long as the waiver is knowing and intelligent. A defendant always has the right to proceed "pro se" (without counsel).
(Note: Information below is required by POST)
Admissions and Confessions
Interrogating of Protected Defendants (Those who have previously invoked their Miranda rights):
Once a suspect becomes a defendant, they have a Sixth Amendment right to an attorney present at all significant points of the criminal proceedings. This means, to a great extent, that Miranda no longer applies. If the defendant expresses a wish for an attorney at any point after the first judicial appearance, no contact should be made with them unless they have seen an attorney and all further contact should be with the attorney present. The defendant may still waive their right to an attorney, but the attorney should probably be contacted and notified of the attempt to waive. The restrictions on interrogation of a charged defendant apply only to the crime with which they were charged. Interrogation of the same person regarding an unrelated crime may be done subject to Miranda requirements. See Handouts, page 23.
Handout – Comparison of the Fifth and Sixth Amendments