Saturday, June 25, 2005

Defendants who plead guilty are entitled to appointed paid for counsel for first appeal.

On June 23, 2005, in Halbert v. Michigan the United States Supreme Court held a Michigan law unconstitutional which denied appointed counsel for a first appeal for those defendants that had pleaded guilty.
The Court has already held in Douglas v. California that a defendant is entitled to appointed counsel on his "first tier" appeal. The Court held that a state may not make pass a law to define the first appeal as "discretionary" and then deny appointed counsel merely by changing the name of the first appeal.

Full case here:

http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/23jun20051201/www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/04pdf/03-10198.pdf

Chip Venie is a private criminal defense attorney in San Diego, California. He is admitted to practice before state and federal courts in California, Washington, D.C., and Michigan. Mr. Venie graduated from The University of Virginia School of Law and clerked as a staff Attorney to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Virginia. Mr. Venie has litigated over 700 trial level felony matters and over 150 appeals. Mr. Venie can be reached at (619) 235-8300, or chipesq@hotmail.com.

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