Arrested? Accused of a crime? You have rights!
When facing criminal charges or when going through a criminal trial, an individual has certain rights which must not be violated. Many of these rights are included in the United States Constitution. Some rights associated with the criminal process include the right to an attorney, the right to remain silent, the right to a trial by jury, and many more. By exercising these rights, a defendant is then given the greatest opportunity at a fair criminal process - helping to eliminate the chances of an innocent man or woman being found guilty for a crime he or she did not actually commit.
A criminal defense lawyer will play a key role in protecting a defendant or arrestee's rights. Even early in
criminal proceedings, an attorney can review the validity of a search warrant, handle communication with law enforcement officers and be present during any police questioning that may place a suspect in danger of unintentionally incriminating him or herself. No one else will be there to protect a defendant, suspect or arrestee from being taken advantage of by over-zealous police officers or prosecutors. An attorney will be his or her only line of defense; the only person standing between him or her and a jail cell.
Every right which is granted to a suspect or a defendant is extremely important. Some of these rights include:
- Miranda rights (read to a suspect upon arrest by law enforcement)
- The right to an attorney in most criminal proceedings (5th and 6th Amendments)
- The right to a "speedy" trial by jury (6th Amendment)
- Protection against illegal search and seizure (4th Amendment)
- The right of a defendant to refuse questioning in a trail (5th Amendment)
- Double Jeopardy - protection against being tried twice for the same crime
- Protection against cruel and unusual punishment (8th Amendment)
These are but a few of the basic rights which may apply to an individual in the criminal process. In working with an attorney, you can help ensure that these rights are protected by a legal professional and that you are given due process of the law.
To learn more about your rights and to discuss your case, click here to find a local criminal defense lawyer.