Criminal Defense in Hawaii
You Have a Right to an Attorney if You Are Charged With a Crime in Hawaii
The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution (along with its State counterpart, Article I, Section 14 of the Hawaii State Constitution) is one of the most important constitutional rights you have.
The Sixth Amendment provides:
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
In short, when the charges you are facing could result in your being imprisoned, then you have the right to an attorney. It does not matter whether or not you actually receive jail time. If imprisonment is even a possibility, then you have the right to a lawyer.
If you are indigent and cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you, usually with the Office of the Public Defender. You are typically not able to choose your court-appointed attorney.
If you can afford an attorney, you have the right to hire an attorney of your choice. If you are facing criminal charges, you should immediately contact a private criminal defense attorney. A good criminal defense lawyer will make sure your rights, freedom, and liberties are preserved and protected as you navigate through the criminal justice system.
Why You Should Exercise Your Constitutional Right to an Attorney
A criminal defendant is facing the possibility of losing their freedom. An effective, competent criminal defense attorney is essential to ensure the defendant has somebody in their corner that understands the legal system. An experienced criminal defense attorney often can have a very positive influence on the outcome of a client's case. A criminal defense attorney will work hard to prevent a client from being wrongfully convicted or receiving an unfair or excessive sentence. A criminal defense attorney protects you from over-zealous prosecution and government overreach. A criminal defense attorney is your first and most important line of defense in making sure that your constitutional rights are upheld.
Going through the criminal justice system can be overwhelming and frightening. You can start by contacting Segal Law at 808-865-2100 or online for a free consultation. Segal Law is located in Maui, but we represent criminal defendants throughout the State of Hawaii.