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Understand your constitutional rights as a defendant

On Behalf of | Jan 10, 2023 | CRIMINAL LAW - Criminal Defense

If you are facing criminal charges, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. In addition, your guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt for a conviction. However, that is not all.

You have other constitutional rights you ought to understand and safeguard as the defendant. A violation of these rights could result in a mistrial or a dismissal of your charges. Here are some of your legal rights as the defendant in a criminal case.

You have a right to a speedy and public jury trial

The right to a speedy public jury trial is vested in the Sixth Amendment. The jury, selected from random community members, must be impartial. Additionally, your trial should not be subject to unnecessary delays.

You have a right to confront witnesses

As the defendant, you have a right to cross-examine the prosecution’s witnesses against you to dispute their testimonies or question their credibility.

You have a right to remain silent

You cannot be compelled to testify against yourself or provide self-incriminating statements. Similarly, you can choose to remain silent when questioned by a prosecutor during trial.

You have a right to legal representation

The right to legal counsel is perhaps one of the most important. You are entitled to adequate legal representation, which means that your defense team must do a reasonably good job at defending you and representing your interests during the trial.

Other rights not listed here include the right to reasonable bail, the right to appeal and the right against double jeopardy. It is also worth noting that some of these rights are not absolute and may have certain restrictions.

It is advisable to reach out for qualified assistance as soon as possible to make sense of the legal complexities involved in a criminal trial and learn more about your rights as the defendant. It could make a significant difference to your case and increase the chances of a desirable outcome.