The right to counsel in criminal cases is well established in American jurisprudence. More than two hundred years ago, the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution granted that right. However, those who could not afford to pay a lawyer were left unrepresented. In decisions issued in the 1930s and 1940s, the Supreme Court declared indigent defendants were entitled to court-appointed counsel, but that right was limited and only applicable in certain cases. In its 1963 landmark decision in Gideon v. Wainwright, the Supreme Court abolished those prior limitations, ensuring that right would extend to all Americans, regardless of ability to pay. Shortly after, Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure 44(a) included its clear statement that “[a] defendant who is unable to obtain counsel is entitled to have counsel appointed to represent the defendant at every stage of the proceeding from initial appearance through appeal unless the defendant waives this right.”
Our office provides that counsel. Carrying out our mission, we represent clients who are charged with federal crimes that occurred within the 11 counties that make up the jurisdiction of the United States District Court of the Northern District of Oklahoma. Additionally, we represent clients in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.