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legal representation

Legal representation is generally the process of attorneys representing their clients in court (courtroom advocacy) and the process of attorneys representing their clients in transactional matters such as drafting, reviewing, and negotiating legal documents and relationships. You have the right to an attorney (right to counsel) under the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution—but only in criminal cases when your liberty or freedom is in jeopardy. In other words, you only have the right to counsel (such that the government must provide you with a defense attorney if you cannot afford to hire one) when you are charged with a crime for which you may receive jail or prison time. In civil litigation (as opposed to criminal litigation) you generally do not have the right to an attorney, and the government will not provide you with an attorney if you are not able to hire an attorney yourself. One exception to this rule is when a criminal prosecution arises in the context of a civil lawsuit—such as when the court is prosecuting a party or attorney for criminal contempt of court and the person charged with contempt faces jail time.

In Texas, legal representation encompasses both courtroom advocacy in legal proceedings and transactional legal services such as drafting and negotiating documents. Under the Sixth Amendment, individuals have the right to an attorney in criminal cases where their freedom is at stake, meaning the state must provide a defense attorney if the accused cannot afford one. This right to counsel does not extend to civil cases; individuals do not have a right to government-provided legal representation in civil litigation and must secure their own attorney if needed. However, if a criminal charge, such as criminal contempt of court, arises during a civil case and the individual faces the possibility of jail time, the right to counsel would then apply.

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