Do Criminal Defendants Have Rights?

criminal defendant talking to attorney

When arrested, you’ll realize you no longer have the freedoms you were once accustomed to. However, criminal defendants are still entitled to certain protections under the United States Constitution. If you are facing criminal charges, understanding the rights guaranteed to you by law is essential to protecting yourself. Keep reading to learn more about what protections you have and discover how a Nassau County criminal defense attorney can help you during this process.

What Rights Do Criminal Defendants Have?

It’s important to understand that there are a number of amendments in the Constitution that protect the rights of those charged with a crime. Some of the most vital include:

  • The right to remain silent: Under the Fifth Amendment, you have the right to remain silent when facing questions about suspected crimes. This prevents self-incrimination, as you do not have to provide information that implicates you in a crime.
  • Protection from cruel and unusual punishment: When you are arrested and detained for a crime, whether or not you have been convicted, it is unlawful to face harsh punishment for the crime, regardless of what the offense was. This includes torture and degradation.
  • Prohibition of unlawful search and seizure: Under the Fourth Amendment, citizens are protected from the unlawful search and seizure of their property. This essentially means that without a warrant, probable cause, or your consent, the police cannot search your property and collect evidence to hold against you during a criminal trial.

You should also be familiar with the rights afforded to you under the Sixth Amendment, which guarantees the right to a trial without unnecessary delays, a lawyer, an impartial jury, and to know who your accusers are.

Though you will be read your Miranda rights upon arrest, which inform you of the right to remain silent, the right to a public defender if you cannot afford an attorney, and the ability to stop answering questions, understanding the additional rights afforded to you is essential.

What Should I Do if My Rights are Violated?

If your rights are violated at any point during the arrest process, ensuring you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately is essential. In some instances, these violations may benefit your circumstances. For example, if you have evidence taken from your home without a warrant, your attorney may be able to have this evidence suppressed from your trial, which can derail the prosecution.

Regardless, if you’ve been charged with a crime, contacting an attorney as soon as possible is essential to improving your chances of receiving a favorable outcome. At the Law Office of Jacob A. Rudman, we believe that everyone deserves competent representation. As such, we will do everything in our power to help fight for the best possible outcome for your circumstances.

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