The Fifth Amendment and Miranda decision of the Supreme Court protects
an innocent person, as well as the guilty. Anything you say may likely
be tape recorded or videotaped with or without your knowledge. So, do
not discuss facts of an alleged crime with anyone, to an extent, even
family members, unless in the presence of your lawyer, as there is no
privilege to protect your statements to these persons. You are not required
to talk to the police when questioned about a crime unless in the presence
of a lawyer.
Right to Counsel
The Sixth Amendment gives the defendant the right to have counsel before
giving any statement or submitting to questioning. A lawyer needs to be
around before you make any statements to the police. For those who are
not able to afford a lawyer, the court is required to appoint an attorney.
Right to be Free from Unreasonable Searches or Seizures
An officer is required to present proper credentials and a search warrant
before being allowed to do any search, be it a search of your body, computer,
home, business, garage, car, boat etc. The Fourth Amendment offers the
defendant protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. A search
or seizure is granted only if the police have a valid search warrant.
If an officer presents the warrant, ask to read the papers before granting
permission. Then, ask to call your lawyer, also ask the officers if you
may watch as they search. It is important you follow this through, since
you never know whether your spouse, children or a friend, may have left
contraband or other evidence of crime in or on your property. Again, never
allow a search without a warrant. An officer may ask to search without
a warranty, just say “No”.
Right to Due Process of Law
The defendant must be given the opportunity of a fair trial or to a fair
procedure. Certain rights or privileges, or property cannot be taken from
you, except under special circumstances.
Right to Equal Protection Under the Law
All persons, regardless of race, nationality, creed, gender or religion
must be given the same protections or rights. No person or class of person
shall be denied the protections enjoyed by other persons or classes in
Right to Subpoena Witnesses
In case you go to a preliminary hearing or trial, you are entitled to compulsory
process or to subpoena witnesses regardless of whether the witness agrees
to cooperate. A witness served with process is required to attend hearings
and give testimony – thus the right of confronting your accusers.
Right to a Trial by Jury
The defendant is entitled to a jury trial unless both he/she and the government
agree to a trial before the judge. In a trial, a jury of six or twelve
qualified persons is empanelled to hear your case.
Right to a Speedy and Public Trial
The Sixth Amendment calls for a speedy trial without unreasonable delays.
This does not interpret to an immediate trial, but factors are analyzed
to determine whether the delay is reasonable or whether there is any prejudice
caused by an unreasonable delay.
Other rights include:
- Right to a Unanimous Verdict
- Right to be Free from Subsequent Trials
- Right to Appeal
If you or someone you care for is arrested,contact a
criminal defense attorney at
The Kyle Law Firm. We will ensure that your rights are protected.