Right to Counsel Law and Legal Definition

Right to counsel refers to a constitutional right of a citizen to get assistance from a counsel. This constitutional right is guaranteed as a part of the constitutional right to fair trial. This right guaranteed under the constitution permits the defendant to request the government to appoint a counsel in case if s/he is unable to afford a lawyer. In the U.S., this right to appoint counsel in trials by the federal government was recognized by the U.S. Bill of Right. This right extent also to cases tried by state courts, mostly in criminal trials. A counsel thus appointed has to exercise some key responsibilities while assisting a defendant in criminal cases. The responsibilities include:

1. advising the defendant of his/her rights;

2. ensuring that the defendant’s constitutional rights are not violated through law enforcement conduct; and

3. negotiating a plea bargain with the government on behalf of the defendant; and

4.investigating facts and evidences, cross examining government witnesses, objecting to improper questions and evidence, and presenting any legal defense.