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Name: U.S. v. Lopez-Osuna
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 11/07/2000
Subsequent History: None

An accused’s right to represent himself under Faretta v. California (1975) 422 U.S. 806 and the Sixth Amendment to the federal constitution can be overridden where the defendant did not knowingly and intelligently forego his right to counsel, and/or the defendant was unable or unwilling to abide by rules of procedure and courtroom protocol. Here, despite appellant’s claim that he did not understand the elements of the charges, conversations between the court and appellant at previous hearings demonstrated that he did understand the charges. Moreover, appellant was assisted by competent advisory counsel which supports the conclusion that appellant understood the charges. Although appellant took little action at trial, and was not familiar with the rules of evidence or the specifics of criminal procedure, he did not exhibit any obstructionist behavior that threatened the dignity of the courtroom, requiring the court to find that his Faretta right should have been overridden.