Working With Great General Attorneys

Rights You Have When Accused of a Crime

by Maurice Moore

Getting accused of a crime can land you in jail, but this arrest does not make you guilty of the crime. You are not actually considered guilty until the court finds you guilty. Until that time, you have rights, and you should use the rights you have. Three main amendments provide you with rights when accused of a crime, and it is important to know these because you may need to utilize them if you are facing charges.

1. The Fifth Amendment

The Fifth Amendment is the first constitutional amendment that gives you rights as a person accused of a crime. With this amendment, you have the right to keep your mouth shut. You do not have to speak when asked about the crime. You do not have to say things that would prove your guilt. In fact, whatever you say to the police or in court could be used in your case to prove your guilt.

2. The Sixth Amendment

The Sixth Amendment provides you with numerous rights. First, it gives you the right to have a lawyer in your case, and you can either hire one or ask the court for one. In any case, you have the right to legal representation because of this amendment. It also gives you the right to have a jury trial if you wish. You do not have to use this right, but it is your legal right to use it. Third, this amendment provides you with the right to a speedy trial. The court cannot linger your case on and on, as this would be breaking the law according to this amendment.

3. The Eighth Amendment

Finally, you have the Eight Amendment for rights when accused of a crime. This amendment primarily relates to bail money after an arrest. The court is prohibited from setting an extremely high bail amount. In other words, you have the right to bail yourself out of jail, which means the bail amount should be somewhat reasonable for the crime you are accused of.

If you are currently being accused of a crime and facing charges, keep these rights in mind as you proceed with your case. These rights are meant to protect you regardless of whether you're innocent or guilty. Additionally, contact a local criminal defense law firm to find out what you can do to fight the charges or at least get them reduced.