Faretta Warnings in South Carolina – Anyone who has seen a crime drama on television has heard of Miranda Warnings. Miranda Warnings give a basic overview of the right to remain silent, the consequences if you choose not to remain silent, and right to an attorney.
Some states, including South Carolina go the extra step of giving criminal defendants Faretta Warnings. In this blog, we will discuss Faretta Warnings, and what they are. Like all our blogs, this is intended for general informational purposes only and not intended as a substitute for the advice and counsel of a criminal defense attorney.
What are Faretta Warnings?
A Faretta Warning is a formal disclosure made to a criminal defendant by law enforcement that goes into some in depth regarding the right to an attorney, and the right to, as well as the risks of representing oneself.
Disclosures in the Faretta Warnings
The Faretta Warning starts with the statement that the defendant has been charged with a criminal offense, he has a right to an attorney and if he cannot afford one, one will be appointed if they defendant so chooses.
It is important to note that in South Carolina whether you can afford an attorney is based on income guidelines that are established by the Court. It is not enough to simply state that you want a court-appointed attorney.
Warnings about representing yourself
Faretta warnings state “You do have the constitutional right to represent yourself and proceed without an attorney; however, I must inform you of the following…” The warnings that follow this statement include, but are not limited to:
- Self-representation can be dangerous, and you have the right to have the assistance of a lawyer at all stages of the proceeding.
- Criminal defense is a highly specialized and technical area of law.
- There may be certain factual, legal, or other defenses to the charges you are facing and if you choose to proceed without the services of a licensed attorney, you may not be aware of certain defenses.
- There may be collateral consequences of a conviction or plea that you are not aware of, including, but not limited to, you could face increased penalties for subsequent offenses, suspension of your driver’s license, the restriction of the right to possess firearms and/or ammunition, or your immigration status may be affect.
Criminal defense matters can be very complicated, and Faretta Warnings are a formal reminder of that. If you have been charged with a crime in South Carolina and need an attorney, contact us.