What are the rights of criminal defendants?

If you have been arrested for committing a crime, you must understand your rights to ensure they are not violated. Many people believe their rights are automatically stripped away when arrested. However, regardless of your crime, you still have certain rights. Specific laws are enforced to ensure you are not unlawfully prosecuted. To legally protect yourself, it is imperative to know your rights. Keep reading to learn more about criminal defendants’ rights and how a qualified Rockland County Criminal Defense Attorney can help you protect your rights. 

Do criminal defendants have rights?

When arrested, law enforcement agents must read you your Miranda Rights, which outline your basic constitutional rights. Under the United States Constitution, you have the following rights:

  • The right to be protected from unreasonable searches and seizures. Through the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, all persons are protected from unreasonable searches and seizures. Law enforcement officers cannot search your property without probable cause or a search warrant. Any evidence obtained through an unlawful search and seizure cannot be used against you in a court of law.
  • The right to remain silent. Through the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, you have the right to remain silent as anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. Essentially, you have the right to remain silent to protect yourself from self-incrimination.
  • The right to adequate legal representation. In addition, through the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, you have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford legal counsel, the court will appoint one for you. You also have the right to a speedy trial.
  • The right to a public jury. When facing criminal charges, you have the right to be tried by a jury. You also have the right to confront a witness to defend yourself against their testimony.
  • The right to be protected against cruel or unusual punishment. Under the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, when detained, no cruel or unusual punishments may be inflicted. Regardless of the crime committed, you are still protected by your fundamental human rights. You also have the right to reasonable bail.

What should I do if I believe my rights have been violated?

When arrested, it is critical to invoke your right to remain silent and the right to have legal counsel. If you believe your rights have been violated in any way, you should inform your attorney. For instance, if you believe that law enforcement officers conducted an unreasonable search and seizure where they obtained evidence to prosecute you, your attorney can file a motion to suppress certain evidence as it was illegally obtained. An experienced Rockland County criminal defense attorney can help ensure your rights are protected and respected throughout the legal process.

For more information on criminal defendant rights, contact a trusted Rockland County criminal defense attorney. Our firm will work tirelessly to defend your rights and interests. Allow our firm to fight on your behalf today!