After an arrest for a criminal act, you have many rights. The Constitution and Bill or Rights of the United States guarantees various rights to anyone who has not yet been convicted. You’ve certainly heard that a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty. This is just one of many rights that you have as a criminal defendant. If you haven’t been provided these rights it doesn’t necessarily mean that your case will be thrown out of court. It does mean that this must be taken into consideration and in some cases, evidence may not be admissible if it is garnered through improper means. An experienced criminal defense attorney will review your case and help to ensure that your rights have been protected and will continue to be protected throughout your case.

Fundamental Rights

The law protects everyone and assumes that you are innocent until proven guilty. Other rights of a defendant include:

  • Right to due process
  • Right to remain silent
  • Right to confront witnesses
  • Right to a public trial
  • Right to a jury trial (does not apply to petty offenses)
  • Right to a speedy trial
  • Right to counsel
  • Right to not be placed in double jeopardy

These rights, when properly followed, ensure that your case is handled properly and that the result has been reached fairly. When any of these rights have been violated, the result may be a faulty verdict. In cases where there was a violation of a person’s rights, the case may be appealed.

Waiving Your Rights

In many cases, the court will ask if you want to waive certain rights in your case. This may be done for a variety of reasons. Usually, a defendant may waive rights when it will resolve the case in a more favorable way. For example, a defendant may choose to accept a plea deal in which case the right to a trial will be voluntarily waived. It is necessary to consult with an attorney before waiving any of your rights. If you waive your rights the judge will ask to make sure you understand what you are doing. This is a necessary part of the legal system. You will need to know what the potential consequences will be if you waive any of your rights. Never waive your rights unless you have first talked to your attorney. If you waive your right to a trial you will not be able to request a trial at a later time.

Resolving Your Criminal Charges

While the fundamental rights are in place to ensure that you are protected, in some cases it is to your benefit to waive some of these rights. This is done to more effectively resolve your case in a way that is beneficial to you. If you are allowed to plead guilty to a lesser offense, you may be able to have a much more favorable result with fewer penalties or consequences. An experienced attorney will work with your case to help resolve it in the best possible way. Your lawyer will always defend you and protect your rights.