Rights of Criminal Defendants

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What Are the Rights of Criminal Defendants?

When a person is charged with a crime, they become a criminal defendant. The government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt before convicting and punishing a defendant for a crime.

The United States Constitution provides criminal defendants with many constitutional rights. These rights control how the government investigates, prosecutes and punishes criminal behavior. These include rights provided in the fourth, fifth, sixth, and eighth amendments.

Fourth Amendment Rights

The Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures:

Fifth Amendment Rights

The Fifth Amendment protects against self-incrimination (the right to remain silent) and double jeopardy:

Sixth Amendment Rights

The Sixth Amendment provides criminal defendants with the right to legal representation, the right to a speedy trial, and the right to confront witnesses:

Eighth Amendment Rights

The Eighth Amendment provides criminal defendants with the right to a reasonable bail and the right to not be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment:

Should I Get an Attorney If I Am Charged with a Crime?

Yes. Legal representation can be crucial if you are charged with a crime. Criminal charges are life changing and it is in your best interest to get counsel. An experienced defense attorney can help protect your rights and represent you in court.

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Last Modified: 06-16-2015 02:09 PM PDT

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