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Are You Entitled to an Attorney?

Are you familiar with the Miranda rights provided to all citizens by the Constitution? It sets out some basic rights, in particular, the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. The right to remain silent is somewhat self-explanatory. The right to an attorney is a bit less clear. Is everyone entitled to an attorney? Are you entitled to an attorney regardless of the criminal charge you are facing? We are here to answer that question.

While everyone always has the option to hire an attorney, not everyone has a right to a court-appointed attorney. The right to an attorney, if you cannot afford one, was established in 1963 by a Supreme Court Case known as Gideon v. Wainwright. In order to qualify for a court-appointed attorney, you must be found indigent, meaning you don’t have a high enough income and/or enough assets to be able to afford an attorney. This is a calculation done by the court and many don’t qualify even though they aren’t really able to afford an attorney. Even if you can afford an attorney, there may be other ways to qualify for a court-appointed attorney, particularly for individuals who have a mental illness.


Additionally, you may not know that you are only entitled to an attorney for specific charges based on the consequences you are facing. In order to qualify, you must be facing incarceration. This means you won’t qualify for traffic tickets or if the prosecuting attorney has waived jail time for your specific charge.


Unfortunately, there are too many instances when someone is not actually entitled to an attorney and many people interpret that to understand they don’t need an attorney. We know far too well that the consequences people face, even if they are not facing incarceration, can be life-changing and should be taken seriously. You may not be facing jail time but facing a massive fine – this could affect your livelihood, ability to pay your bills and your family. Similarly, a conviction could result in the loss of your driver’s license or result in losing your employment, once again affecting your livelihood, ability to pay your bills and your family.


If you’re facing a criminal charge, whether it’s a misdemeanor or a more serious felony, we’d encourage you to consider hiring an attorney who is experienced and knows how to fight for your rights. And if you are hiring an attorney, make sure it’s the right attorney for you.


Facing a criminal charge? Call us today for your free consultation.

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  • Washington Association for Justice
  • The National Trial Lawyers Top 100
  • Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association
  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • American Association for Justice
  • Washington State Bar Association
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Success Stories

  • If he said he was going to do something he did it. He has integrity.

    “Wayne Fricke is a terrific lawyer who knows the law. The following are only several of many ways Mr. Fricke supported me during my time of crisis: 1. Explained the charges against me in a manner that ...”

    - Former Client
  • He always exceeds expectations.

    “Mr. Fricke has been our family lawyer for about 5 years. He has done an amazing job representing my family and I. He always exceeds expectations and informs us on everything going on.”

    - Jen
  • He, at no time, treated me as though I was guilty.

    “I was accused of domestic violence and need a Lawyer to defend me. Not knowing who to hire I started with Mr. K.W. This lawyer did not seem to believe in my innocence and I was looking at 3 to 5 ...”

    - Craig
  • Mr. Fricke had his office call me weekly for updates.

    “A few years ago, I was involved in a car accident. Due to my injuries, I hired an attorney who seemingly disappeared. I was in crisis after calling the court and finding out my case had been dismissed ...”

    - Sharyl
  • He is always honest and straight forward.

    “I hired Lance Hester to help me with 2 different legal matters. One was a felony criminal case and the other was a family law issue. In the felony criminal case this individual had everything to lose ...”

    - Former Client
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Proven Results

  • Reduced Sentence Drug Crime
  • Case Dismissed Domestic Violence
  • Four Felony Charges Dismissed Four Felony Counts
  • Reduced Sentence Drug Distribution
  • Vacated Conviction 4th Degree Assault
  • Case Dismissed Possession of Stolen Property
  • Two Restraining Orders Granted Anti-harassment Orders
  • Federal Court Success Federal Probation Violation
  • Case Dismissed Rape
  • Life Sentence Avoided Federal Criminal Sex Charges
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Why Choose the Hester Law Group?

  • Accessible to Clients

    We understand the urgency clients have when they need an attorney. We are available  24/7 to help you.

  • We Truly Care

    We feel honored to help someone through the toughest time they will ever go through.

  • Personalized Approach

    At Hester Law Group, we use a personal approach that best suits the needs of our clients.

  • Unparalleled Experience

    We have been a successful team for two decades and have over 130 years of combined experience.

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