The sixth amendment guarantees to an accused the right to assistance of counsel, and this right is extended to state prosecutions through the Due Process clause of the fourteenth amendment. The Supreme Court has interpreted this right to include steps in the proceeding before the trial itself has commenced. In United States v. Wade and Gilbert v. California the Court held post-indictment confrontations for identification purposes to be "critical stages" of the proceedings at which the accused is entitled to the presence of counsel.' Although in both cases the confrontations took place after indictment, the Court indicated that any pretrial confrontation should be scrutinized to determine if the presence of counsel is necessary. Since these decisions, both state and federal courts have been faced with the task of determining the scope and application of this principle. Recently, the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals rendered two decisions involving the right to counsel during an on-the-scene identification and at a pre-indictment police lineup.
Right to Counsel in Virginia,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
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