Constitutional Rights of the Accused

Constitutional Rights of the Accused

A person facing a criminal charge must be fully aware of the Constitutional rights he has throughout the legal process. The right to remain silent and the right to contact bail bonds in Colorado are not just the only rights the defendant can experience. There are other handfuls of rights that will protect you as a citizen of the United States of America. 

Miranda Rights Explained

The moment a person got arrested, the arresting officer must clearly state the Miranda rights. Its primary purpose is to protect the person from self-incriminating statements that could be used against him/her at the court. 

The Fifth Amendment protects any person who was in question for a criminal charge or offense. Under the U.S. Constitution, the Fifth Amendment states, “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself/herself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

Miranda rights highlight the primary rights of a defendant. However, other rights of the accused must be protected and must be clearly stated.

The Right to Remain Silent.

This right cannot be forced to speak during police interrogation until the defendant has already spoken to his attorney. Additionally, if the defendant chooses to remain silent during the trial, the judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, and the bail bonds Colorado agent cannot force him to testify. One exception is when the defendant in a civil case may be forced to testify as a witness. 

The Right to Confront Witnesses

This right comes from the confrontation clause of the Sixth Amendment. It can give the defendant rights to cross-examine witnesses, which requires the witness to go to court. It also forbids the prosecution to accept oral or written hearsay from non-testifying witnesses. Emergency calls like 911 are not considered testimonial and cannot be used against the court’s defendant. Statements can be testimonial if it is given to the police officers looking for details regarding past crimes. 

The Right to a Public Trial

Under the Sixth Amendment, criminal cases are subject to a public trial. It ensures observance of the fundamental rights associated with trials. Court hearings with criminal cases are open to the defendant’s family, friends, ordinary citizens, and press. In the exception, the judge may close the hearing to the public for court hearings that may involve children, such as sexual assaults against children cases. Another exception can happen if the judge won’t allow the witness in the courtroom to avoid influencing other witnesses’ testimony.

The Right to a Jury Trial

Criminal cases with possible sentences of more than six months should be tried by a jury. A jury can consist of six to twelve persons and must come up with a unanimous verdict. Otherwise, it will be called a “hung jury,” in which the defendant will go free unless the prosecution’s office requests to retry the case. 

The process of selecting jurors must be random within the community. The judge and lawyers select the actual jury to prevent biased decisions. Also, lawyers can eliminate jurors whom they think won’t be sympathetic to his/her side. However, this decision should not be based on race, sex, national origin, or religion.

The Right to a Speedy Trial

Although the law states that every accused person has the right to a speedy trial, the specific exact time limit has not been clearly stated. The judge has the discretion whether the case has been delayed and needs to be thrown out. The judge will look into the cause of the delay, length of the delay, and whether it has caused prejudice to the defendant.

Speedy trial is relative in a legal context, which may be different from one state to another—each state its law specific time guidelines from filing the initial charge to trial. 

Right to be Represented by an Attorney

The Sixth Amendment gives the accused person with criminal charge the right to have an attorney’s assistance to defend him in court. If the defendant is legally indigent, the government will provide him a public defender who can represent him in the court. 

The defendant is considered indigent if he cannot afford a private lawyer for defense in a criminal case against him. 

The Right to Adequate Representation

Whether the attorney is a public defender or a private defense lawyer, criminal defendants have the right to adequate representation in the court. It means that the defense attorney given to the defendant must perform a reasonable job in defending the accused person. It does not only apply at court trial but also during plea bargains. 

The Right Not to be Placed in Double Jeopardy

The Fifth Amendment states, “or shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.” The defendants have the right not to be tried more than once for the same offense. But the defendant can be charged for a criminal offense and for a civil suit at the same time for the same criminal act. Another exception for this constitutional right is that the defendant can be charged both in federal and state for the same conduct. 

The Right to be Free from Excessive Bail

The Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects a defendant from excessive bail. Along with this right, the government cannot put an excessive fine or cruel and unusual punishments. Therefore, judges are expected to come up with a justifiable bail amount, which gives the defendant privilege to live a normal life while awaiting trial. 

Hiring the right defense attorney and bail bonds agent will help you to understand your key rights while facing a criminal charge. If you want to know more about your right to bail, call the experienced bail bonds agent in Colorado like Lucky Lucero’s Bail Bonds at 303-659-2245.

By | 2021-02-09T08:57:17-07:00 February 5th, 2021|Bail Bonds|