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Commonwealth v. Charles Joseph Lucarelli J-83-2008 (5/27/2009)

Topic: Right to Counsel – Waiver or Forfeiture of Right to Counsel

Summary: Where a defendant forfeits his right to counsel, Pa.R.Crim. P. 121 does not apply and a colloquy is not necessary.

Illustration: The defendant could afford counsel and repeatedly chose not to retain an attorney. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court concluded that in such a case, the defendant has forfeited his right to counsel and must proceed pro se. Further, the trial court does not have to conduct a counsel waiver colloquy with the defendant as the colloquy is only applicable in cases where the defendant waives his right to counsel.