Just because you’ve been accused of a crime, doesn’t mean that the law enforcement personnel can mistreat you. The US constitution grants you several rights to ensure that you’re treated with dignity from the point of the arrest until the trial takes place.
Here are some of these:
Rights under the Fifth Amendment
Under the fifth constitutional amendment, every defendant has the right to remain silent. This law exists to protect you from self-incrimination. When you choose to remain silent, the judge, police officer, the prosecutor, or the defense attorney can’t force you to testify. These rights are known as Miranda Rights and apply during both the trial and the arrest. The law exists to keep you from issuing any statements before consulting legal counsel.
The Fifth Amendment also grants you the right not to be placed in double jeopardy. This means that any defendant can’t be put on trial more than once for the same offense. However, there are exceptions to this. The defendant can still be brought to two different types of courts for the same crime.
Rights under the Sixth Amendment
Under the sixth constitutional amendment, all criminal defendants have the right to legal representation or assistance of counsel for their defense. If the defendant can’t afford a lawyer, the judge must appoint one for their case.
The amendment also grants the right to a speedy trial and the right to a public jury trial. Although there is no legal time limit, your case can’t be unconstitutionally delayed. Similarly, the defendant must be tried by the jury in an open public forum. The courtroom should be open to the defendant’s family and friends to attend. The press could be present too. As a defendant, you can also confront the accuser or the witnesses in the court and counter any testimony presented against you.
Rights under the Eighth Amendment
The eighth amendment protects defendants from unusual and cruel punishment. Even if the defendant is convicted and incarcerated, their basic human rights still apply. Under the law, the defendant must not be subject to torture, severe punishment, or inhumane living conditions.
This amendment also grants the right to reasonable bail. This means that the final bail amount set by the judge must not be beyond a defendant’s ability to pay. It should be decided according to the severity of the crime and the defendant’s flight risk.
If you feel like the bail amount set for you is too high, get a bail bond agent to help you out. If you’re based in Gainesville or Starke, there is no better option than Lee Calhoun Bail Bonds. Read more about our services here.