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19613Time to Prepare-Consult with Accused-Arraignment Critical Stage

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  • Legalbear
    Feb 26, 2014


      The arraignment of an accused is a critical stage of the proceeding, Hamilton v. Alabama, 368 U.S. 52 (1961), especially where substantial rights of the accused are affected by the entry of a guilty plea, Townsend v. Burke, 334 U.S. 736 (1948), and the court immediately considers the question of sentencing, Mempa v. Rhay, 389 U.S. 128 (1967). People v. Meyers, 617 P. 2d 808, 814 (Colo. 1980).


      Effective assistance of counsel in such circumstances requires that an appointed attorney be afforded a reasonable opportunity for consultation with the accused in order to arrive at an understanding of the case, to inform the accused of his constitutional rights, and to offer him knowledgeable advice about a plea. . King v. Beto, 429 F.2d 221 (5th Cir. 1970), cert. denied, 401 U.S. 936 (1971); Coles v. Peyton, 389 F.2d 224 (4th Cir. 1968), cert. denied, 393 U.S. 849 (1968); Edgerton v. State, 315 F.2d 676 (4th Cir. 1963). People v. Meyers, 617 P. 2d 808, 814 (Colo. 1980).


      However, where a last minute appointment results in a pro-forma entry of appearance without preparation or meaningful consultation with the accused, such token representation raises a strong inference, if not an outright presumption, that the accused has been denied effective assistance of counsel. E. g., United States v. Knight, 443 F.2d 174 (6th Cir. 1971); Rastrom v. Robbins, 440 F.2d 1251 (1st Cir. 1971), cert. denied, 404 U.S. 863, 92 S.Ct. 53, 30 L.Ed.2d 107 (1971); United States ex rel. Mathis v. Rundle, 394 F.2d 748 (3d Cir. 1968); Turner v. State, 303 F.2d 507 (4th Cir. 1962); United States ex rel. Kimbrough v. Rundle, 293 F.Supp. 839 (E.D. Pa.1968). People v. Meyers, 617 P. 2d 808, 814 (Colo. 1980).


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