Why You Don’t Have a Right to an Attorney in Family Court

All Americans know that if they’re charged with a serious crime, one that could result in prison time, they are entitled to a court-appointed attorney, paid for by the State. This wasn’t always the case. Up until 1963, there was no right to a court-appointed attorney for State crimes. If someone was charged with a federal crime and they couldn’t afford an attorney, the federal government was required by the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution to provide one, but a an indigent defendant in a State criminal action was on their own.

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