Waiver (of Right to Counsel)

Gideon Alert: NACDL report exposes Florida’s “no counsel” courts

BY David Carroll on Wednesday, August 3, 2011 at 3:16 PM

“Supreme Court Justices rarely consider appeals of misdemeanor convictions.  Nearly a half-million misdemeanor cases are filed in Florida’s county courts every year, and the vast majority of those cases are resolved by a plea of guilty, often in a matter of minutes.  Advice of rights by the courts and the assistance of lawyers for the defendants, whether they can afford them or not, are exceptions, not the rule.  It is as if our criminal and traffic courts operate as 'constitution-free zones,' outside the law.” -- Gerald Kogan, former Florida Chief Justice