Competency to Waive Counsel (Proceed Pro Se)

In the United States, it is permissible, with the approval of the judge, for a criminal defendant to act as his or her own attorney when the case goes to court. Legal and clinical issues related to the defendant's being competent to waive the right to legal representation are discussed in this entry.

In the United States, defendants accused of criminal charges are entitled to rights and protections by the Constitution. One important right articulated in the Sixth Amendment is that every accused person is entitled to representation by a legal counsel. Like other constitutional rights, the right to counsel is guaranteed—that is, no one, including even the judge, can deprive the defendant of this right. However, a defendant may request a waiver of the Sixth ...

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