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assistance of counsel: the help of a lawyer which a defendant in a criminal prosecution is guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution see also ineffective assistance of counsel Powell v. Alabama in the Important Cases section NOTE: The Supreme Court held in Powell v. Alabama that the Sixth Amendment requires the state to provide a lawyer to a defendant too poor to hire one.
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.