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Most criminal defendants are represented by court-appointed lawyers who are paid by the government. Paradoxically, the biggest reason that most defendants are represented by lawyers in criminal cases is that most defendants can’t afford to hire their own private defense attorneys. When defendants are considered to be legally indigent—as most are—the court is constitutionally required to provide them with legal representation at government expense if jail or prison is a possible outcome of the case.
Read on to learn who these attorneys are, who is entitled to receive their services, and the type of services you are entitled to expect from them.