Even though a criminal defendant is someone that is suspected of breaking the law, he still has certain rights that are protected by the Constitution. It’s important for you to understand these rights so you can ensure they are not violated if you are ever arrested and charged with a crime. Here are some of the rights of criminal defendants:
The Right to Remain Silent
Perhaps the most well-known right is the right to remain silent. Criminal defendants should begin to exercise this right immediately after they are arrested so they don’t accidentally make any incriminating statements.
The Right to Confront Witnesses
The Sixth Amendment of the Constitution gives criminal defendants the right to confront and cross-examine witnesses in their case. This means that witnesses are typically required to appear in court and be questioned by both the prosecution and defense.
The Right to a Speedy Trial
No criminal defendant should have to sit behind bars for a long period of time if they have not been found guilty yet. Fortunately, the constitutional right to a speedy trial prevents this from happening. However, the law does not specify how quickly the trial must take place after a defendant is arrested and charged.
The Right to a Public Trial
A criminal defendant’s fate must be decided in a public, as opposed to a private, trial. This right was established to create a checks and balances system of sorts. Because the trial is public, members of the press and the defendant’s loved ones can ensure the government is treating the defendant fairly.
The Right to a Jury Trial
The Sixth Amendment also gives criminal defendants the right to a trial by jury, which usually consists of twelve people selected from the community. There are also certain rules that should be followed regarding how the jury is selected and screened. For example, an attorney can ask to have a potential juror dismissed if he feels that the juror is biased.
The Right to an Attorney
A criminal defendant should never have to face his charges without the help of an attorney, which is why defendants all have the right to legal representation. Defendants that cannot afford an attorney will have one appointed to them by the court. But, these public defenders do not have the same legal resources or experience that criminal defense attorneys do.
Don’t put your future in the hands of a public defender—contact the criminal defense attorneys at Reisch Law Firm today. Our team of criminal defense attorneys will ensure that your constitutional rights are never violated as we fight for your freedom. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.