What Are the Rights of Criminal Defendants?

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You must understand that, if you are ever in a situation where you are being accused of committing a crime, you have certain rights that you must take advantage of. And if there is ever a breach of your rights, you may bring this argument forward in your criminal proceedings. Follow along to find out what the rights of a criminal defendant are and how one of the experienced New Jersey & Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyers at The Vigilante Law Firm, P.C. can help you in protecting them.

What are Miranda rights?

Before all else, at the time of your arrest, you have the right to be read your Miranda rights by a law enforcement officer. That is, a law enforcement officer is supposed to relay the following messages to you:

  • You have the right to remain silent.
  • Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
  • You have the right to speak to an attorney, and to have an attorney present during interrogation.
  • If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you.

Importantly, a law enforcement officer must finish this by asking you, “Do you understand the rights I have just read to you?” With this, they must wait for you to provide a clear and adequate “yes” as an answer. Silence is not adequate for waiving these rights because you may not hear them, you may not understand them, or you may not speak English as your first language, among other things.

What are the other rights of a criminal defendant?

In addition to your Miranda rights, you are also granted certain rights during your criminal proceedings. They are as follows:

  • You have the right to remain silent (i.e., not testifying or acting as a witness).
  • You have the right to confront witnesses (i.e., cross-examine witnesses).
  • You have the right to a public trial (i.e., present family, friends, ordinary citizens, and press).
  • You have the right to a jury trial (i.e., unanimous verdict).
  • You have the right to a speedy trial (i.e., as directed by a judge).
  • You have the right to be represented by an attorney (i.e., before sentencing to imprisonment).
  • You have the right to receive adequate representation (i.e., in trial and a plea bargain).
  • You have the right to not be tried twice for the same offense (i.e., double jeopardy).

Ultimately, the most significant right you are given as a criminal defendant is that the protection must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. To ensure that your rights are protected, you must retain legal representation from one of the talented New Jersey criminal defense lawyers. Give us a call today. We look forward to serving you.

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