Skip to main content

Right to Counsel Applies At Pretrial Identification Lineup


In two companion cases, United States v. Wade and Gilbert v. California, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that the Sixth Amendment prohibits the prosecution from introducing evidence that a defendant was identified in a lineup unless the defendant’s attorney was present. The Court bases its decision on the fact that an identification of a suspect is a “critical stage” of the trial process and therefore a defendant is entitled to the protections that a lawyer can provide.