The MDIC and Your Constitutional Right to Court-Appointed Counsel
“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.”—Amendment VI, The U.S. Constitution
As stated above, the Constitution of the United States guarantees that all people charged with a crime have a right to an attorney. This right extends not just during a trial, but at all important points during a criminal proceeding. If a criminal defendant qualifies as “indigent,” or without sufficient funds to hire their own attorney, a court must appoint a lawyer to represent them at minima cost. This ensures that those stand accused of a crime are guaranteed sufficient representation of the law, regardless of a defendant’s access to funds at the time of the charge.
The newly established Michigan Indigent Defense Commission, often referred to as the MIDC, has expanded these guarantees even further, newly mandating that defendants who qualify for appointed counsel now have a right to an attorney to argue on their behalf even at their arraignment, when bail is most often determined by the judge in the jurisdiction where the arrest took place. The MIDC was created in 2013 by state legislation recommending improvements to Michigan’s legal system. The Commission works to ensure fairness across the criminal justice system.
Though you have a right to appointed counsel as stated above, it is also your right to retain, or a hire, a defense attorney of your choice that you have come to know and trust. Criminal defense attorneys at The Law Offices of Joumana Kayrouz have protected clients through both court-appointed and retained work and are here to answer any questions you may have. Give us a call today to schedule your free consultation!