Basic Rights of the Criminal Defendants in the U.S.

Rights of the Criminal Defendants in the U.S.

Criminal defendants have the rights given by the U.S. Constitution at the very first moment they are arrested. It directs the government on how criminal defendants must be investigated, prosecuted, and punished during the trial. 

Right to Remain Silent

The Fifth Amendment protects the defendant against self-incrimination. Once a defendant chooses to remain silent, the prosecutor or judge cannot force him to stand as a witness or to testify. However, this right works for criminal defendants only. Therefore, an offender with a civil case may be forced to testify. 

Right to a Reasonable Bail

Bail bonds that the judge sets should not be excessive as per the Eighth Amendment. For instance, Brighton bail bonds must be equivalent to the severity of the crime charged against the defendant.

Right to Confront Witnesses

The Sixth Amendment clearly states that the defendants have the right to confront the witness to cross-examine and come to court. It forbids the prosecution to get non-testifying witnesses with oral or written hearsay statements unless the judge decides that the hearsay is non-testimonial. 

Right to a Public Trial

The Sixth Amendment ensures that criminal defendants receive a public trial. It assures the defendant that his/her rights will be observed appropriately by inviting his family, friends, ordinary people, and press to the courtroom. However, the law may close the court to the public if the case involves a minor. 

Right to a Jury Trial

Criminal defendants with more serious charges other than petty offenses have the right to be tried by a jury. The jury can consist of 6 to 12 individuals and must have a unanimous verdict before the defendant can be convicted of the crime. 

Right to a Speedy Trial

“Speedy trial” doesn’t have specific exact time limits stated in the Sixth Amendment, but judges often conclude whether the defendant’s trial has been delayed or should be thrown out. The court uses factors to determine if the case has been unconstitutionally delayed or not. Considerations are the length of the delay, the reason for the delay, and whether the delay harmed the defendant’s position.  

Right to be Presented by an Attorney

All criminal defendants are given the right to be defended by an attorney before sentencing the defendant to imprisonment. The sixth amendment provides the right to have counsel for his defense, and if the defendant cannot afford an attorney, the government must appoint a defense attorney on his/her behalf. 

Right to Adequate Representation

Both indigent and capable defendants have the right to adequate representation, in which hired lawyers must perform a reasonable job in defending the accused person. This right applies not just in criminal cases but also in plea bargains. 

Right Not to be Placed in Double Jeopardy

The double jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment states that no person shall be tried twice for the same offense. However, this only applies to criminal cases. Therefore, the defendant can face civil or administrative, and criminal cases for the same offense. Other exceptions are mistrial, multiple offenses, and different sovereigns.


These rights must observe throughout the course of the defendant’s trial. For a comprehensive understanding of the criminal defendant’s rights, talk to a trusted defense attorney and a bail bonds agent to provide legal assistance. Contact Lucky Lucero’s Bail Bonds at 303-659-2245.

By | 2021-03-29T12:57:32-06:00 March 29th, 2021|Bail Bonds|