Received a TARGET letter from the US Attorney’s Office? What’s next & 6th Amd. right to counsel.

If you received a Target letter from the United States Attorney’s Office, contact a reputable attorney. Do not ignore the letter. The request to begin negotiation does not mean cooperation. It might mean that the US Attorney’s Office wants to save its resources on further investigating the case or indicting it. Be very careful, the right to counsel does not attach until after the formal process begins. It means that you cannot later say that you’ve received ineffective assistance of counsel. Hire a reputable attorney, so you don’t end up paying more.

Traditionally, the Sixth Amendment has been interpreted to mean that the right to counsel attaches when a criminal defendant is formally charged. See Kirby v. Illinois, 406 U.S. 682, 688–89 (1972); United States v. Hayes, 231 F.3d 663, 669–70 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc). Olson asked the court to reexamine this traditional approach to attachment of the Sixth Amendment right to counsel in order to recognize that the right to counsel may attach before there has been a formal charge. The panel wrote that it is not in a position to do so because it cannot overrule binding circuit precedent. The panel further concluded that this is not an appropriate case to ask for an en banc court to consider overruling Hayes, because the record does not support Olson’s claim that his counsel was ineffective, and an en banc ruling would therefore not affect the result.


Anton Vialtsin, Esq.
LAWSTACHE™ LAW FIRM | Criminal Defense and Business Law

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