Know Your Rights in a Criminal Proceeding Both the United States Constitution and Supreme Court case precedent have guaranteed certain rights for those charged with a crime in this country. First and foremost, no matter what your charge, the court must ensure that you have the right to be presumed innocent of all crimes until proven guilty by a jury of your peers. Though a defendant may elect to have his case determined by a judge instead of a jury, which is called a “bench trial,” a right to a trial by jury is afforded to every individual in a criminal proceeding until he waives that right on the court record. Next, anyone accused of a crime has a constitutional right to remain silent at all times during his or her criminal action. Furthermore, that silence is not allowed to be used against you at all as evidence toward your guilt one way or another. This pertains to both discussions with police before a trial as well as during a trial proceeding. Finally, and just as importantly, you have the right to speak to an attorney at nearly every juncture of your criminal matter. Never be afraid to assert that right, and exercise your right to speak to a lawyer before you have any conversation with police or authorities. If you cannot afford a lawyer, the court will appoint you one so that your rights are still protected. If you have questions about these or any other criminal issues, call The Law Offices of Joumana Kayrouz to speak to one of our experienced and compassionate criminal defense attorneys today!
Know Your Rights in a Criminal Proceeding