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Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution

Amendment VI (the Sixth Amendment) of the US Constitution's Bill of Rights states:
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 defence.

Prior to 1963, the Sixth Amendment was not understood as requiring the government, in most cases, to provide counsel to an indigent defendant in a criminal case. In the 1963 case of Gideon v. Wainwright, however, the United States Supreme Court, overruling the earlier precedent of Betts v. Brady, held that counsel must be provided for defendants who cannot afford counsel in all serious criminal cases.

See also

5th Amendment United States Bill of Rights
United States Constitution
7th Amendment