Tag: criminal defendants

Can Criminal Defendants Ask For A New Judge?

Can Criminal Defendants Ask For A New Judge?

The jury decides whether a defendant is guilty or not, but the judge also plays an important role in a criminal case. The judge is responsible for ensuring that both sides follow the proper procedures when presenting their cases. Basically, it is the judge that is responsible for making sure every defendant is given a fair trial. But, what if you are not happy with the judge presiding over your case? Can criminal defendants ask for a new judge? Here’s what you should know:

What is A Motion to Recuse A Judge?

Every criminal defendant has the right to file a motion to recuse a judge, which is a request to have the judge replaced with a new one. However, this type of motion should only be filed when the defendant believes the judge has a conflict of interest that should prevent him from being involved in the case.

For example, let’s say the judge is related to someone involved in the case. He may find it difficult to remain impartial if a relative is involved, which is why he should not be allowed to preside over the case. Judges should also be replaced if they have a prejudice against someone involved in the case. The negative feelings can sometimes stem from a previous run-in between the defendant and the judge. In other cases, the judge may be prejudiced because he is stereotyping someone involved in the case.

Filing A Motion to Recuse A Judge

If you believe the judge should be replaced, talk to your criminal defense attorney about filing a motion to recuse the judge. The law requires criminal defendants to file this motion within 10 days after the case is assigned to court. But, many defendants are not made aware of the judge’s conflict of interest until after these 10 days have passed. In this case, you may still be able to file the motion as long as you can explain why it was not filed within the 10-day timeframe.

Anyone who files this type of motion must also submit affidavits from a minimum of two people that support the claim that the judge cannot be impartial in your case. If enough evidence of bias is presented, the judge will disqualify himself from the case. The chief justice will then be notified so he can assign a new judge to the case.

Having a biased judge preside over your case violates your right to a fair trial. If you believe your judge is biased, contact Reisch Law Firm at once. Let our team fight to replace the judge and protect your rights. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

The Rights of Criminal Defendants

The Rights of Criminal Defendants

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.