December 20, 2014

Colorado Supreme Court: Balancing Test Applied to Determine if Defendant’s Right to Counsel of Choice Outweighed Public Interest

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in People v. Brown on Monday, April 7, 2014.

Motion to Continue—Right to Counsel of Choice.

The Supreme Court considered the balance between a defendant’s Sixth Amendment constitutional right to his or her counsel of choice and the public’s interest in the fairness and efficiency of the judicial system. The Court held that when deciding whether to grant a continuance to allow a defendant to change counsel, the trial court must conduct a multi-factor balancing test and determine whether the public’s interest in the efficiency and integrity of the judicial system outweighs the defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to counsel of choice. Accordingly, the court of appeals’ judgment was reversed and the case was remanded to the trial court for additional findings and conclusions.

Summary and full case available here.

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