Rights For a Defendant Charged With a Criminal Offense
Being indicated in a criminal investigation can be a very trying experience, and even more so if you are actually arrested and charged for that crime. However, there are certain rights all defendants have from the moment of their arrest to the moment of their trial. These rights have been famously well known on television, but may also be slightly surprising for anyone looking at a serious accusation.
The Standard Rights All Defendants Have
Before a court trial begins, there are rights related to the arrest process and how long someone can be held for something before a charge is levied. Defendants must be read their Miranda rights – informing them of their right to have a lawyer and to be silent in the face of accusations. They must be given a lawyer immediately if they request it and they cannot be held more than 24 hours without being charged of a crime.
After that, the rights derive directly from the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, including the right to a speedy trial with a jury if they so wish. They also have the right to confront any witnesses and their accuser, and they can receive adequate representation, and cannot be charged twice for the same crime.
Additional Rights to Consider
When it comes to a major crime, the rights of the defendant are designed to keep them from being treated guilty before the process goes to trial and is resolved judiciously. The jury needs to be unbiased and if they cannot afford a lawyer, the court appoints one to ensure they have proper representation.
If you are being accused of a serious crime, it is very important that you take the time to learn exactly what your rights are and how you can respond to the accusations. Simply standing by and waiting for the trial is not going to help you much – not in a complex legal system such as ours. So, contact a lawyer, learn what your rights really involve and work your way from there, learning what it takes to keep yourself out of jail. This article is not meant to provide legal advice.