Chapter 5 - §1. Overview

JurisdictionUnited States

§1. Overview

The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides that the defendant in a criminal proceeding "shall enjoy the right . . . to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence." U.S. Const. amend. 6, cl. 4. This clause gives a defendant the right to the assistance of legal counsel once any criminal proceedings have been initiated against him. People v. Frederickson (2020) 8 Cal.5th 963, 1011 (Sixth Amendment guarantees the accused, at least after formal charges have been initiated, the right to rely on counsel as "medium" between him and government). Evidence obtained in violation of the defendant's Sixth Amendment right to counsel generally cannot be used against the defendant in criminal proceedings. Maine v. Moulton (1985) 474 U.S. 159, 180; Massiah v. U.S. (1964) 377 U.S. 201, 206-07; see Estelle v. Smith (1981) 451 U.S. 454, 470-71; Brewer v. Williams (1977) 430 U.S. 387, 397-98. The Sixth Amendment's right to counsel applies to state proceedings through the Fourteenth Amendment. See Kirby v. Illinois (1972) 406 U.S. 682, 688. California's state constitutional right to counsel is no more generous to the defendant than the federal constitutional right. See Cal. Const., art. I, §24 (state constitution must not be construed to afford "greater rights to criminal defendants than those afforded by [U.S.] Constitution").


The Sixth Amendment right to counsel covers a

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