If you have been charged with a criminal offence, it’s almost impossible to handle your own case. This is especially when you are being jailed or have a prison sentence. Communicating with a law enforcement officer or posting bail is overwhelming. On the other hand, doing it wrongfully could mean receiving a longer sentence, spending more resources and getting a sophisticated charge on your record. This may put a lot of financial and emotional burden on you and your family. But if an individual wishes to do so, he/she is at liberty. But according to Abraham Lincoln, people who decide to represent themselves “has a fool for a client”. Committing a crime means that you are entering the world of criminal justice system. Without a good lawyer to represent your case, you will not know your rights and your future could be totally affected.
Knowing Your Legal Rights during a Criminal Offense
If you have been charged with a criminal offense, knowing and exercising your rights can make all the difference. These rights are the foundations of any legal system and they determine your protection. Failure or ignorance of these rights may possibly lead you in unfathomable troubles. You can hire San Diego criminal attorney to help you understand your rights. Below are some of the specific rights you need to know.
Attorney representation: In the criminal justice system, you have a right to be represented by a lawyer once your criminal case has commenced. If you can’t afford an attorney, the government is obligated to appoint one to handle your case. You actually have the right to an attorney at almost every vital phase of your legal proceedings.
Right to confront witnesses: You have a right to talk with your witnesses. With this, you have a chance to interrogate witnesses, that is talking with them face to face and subjecting them to questioning. The right is termed as confrontation clause. It is tied with the notion of being innocent until proven guilty.
Right to remain silent: You can’t be compelled to be a witness against yourself. According to the law stated in United States constitution, you can’t be forced to speak. No one can force you to speak, not even the judge.
Jury trial: As the accused, you have the right to a hearing by jury. The importance of this is that people who are serving on a jury has some insight about the justice system. They can be able to correct misunderstandings of the courtroom proceedings.
Right to a speedy trial: This right protects you from delay between indictment presentation and commencement of a trial. The judge considers the duration of delay and whether the delay could have cause harm to you.
Public trial: Any individual blamed of a criminal offense has a right to a public trial. This is vital because the presence of defendant’s family, ordinary citizens or even friends can help the government observe the rights associated with public trials.
Right to adequate representation: Not only will you have a chance to have a lawyer representation. You will be represented adequately. It’s worth noting that this representation will not turn out to a perfect one.
Double jeopardy Clause: You can’t be subjected to the same offense twice. But this comes with an exception. A number of sovereigns can indict you for the same crime. There are some complex cases that involve double jeopardy. For example, you may be facing the same charges in state and federal court if some aspects of your conduct violated federal laws while other elements has conflicts with the state laws.
Finding a Criminal Defense Lawyer
The person you need for your criminal offense case may not be the same person who helped you secure your apartment or assisted you during your car accident case. If you have been subjected to a criminal investigation or need a comprehensive understanding of what you’re entitled to, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you. If you can’t afford to hire one, the government is obligated to help you obtain a defense lawyer. He/she will be responsible of protecting your rights free of charge at all stages of your criminal process. Most of these attorneys have a lot of workload, so they may not be better positioned to follow your case outside the courtroom. This doesn’t mean that they are inexperienced and incompetent. The issue is that they have less time for digging deeper into your case. On the other hand, if you hire a criminal defense attorney, he won’t be limited in this manner and would be willing to assist you wholly. Contacting an experienced lawyer can make all the difference in your case. He/she can shape your evidence and defend you against your criminal charges.