A Defendant’s Constitutional Rights

As a criminal defense attorney, I’m always amazed that few people really understand their constitutional rights. If you have been charged with a crime or are the subject of a criminal investigation, it is important to know your rights. One of the most important rights you have, and the one that many people foolishly ignore, is the right to remain silent. You do not have to talk with the police. No matter how nice they seem, they are trying to get you to say something that they can use as evidence against you. They don’t have to be honest with you; they can legally deceive you in order to get information. Generally, it is a good idea to exercise your right to remain silent. It is your right and you cannot be punished for asserting it. You also have many other rights. The following is a short list of some of a defendant’s constitutional rights:

Constitutional Rights
  • The right to remain silent
  • The right to be represented by an attorney
  • The right to confront and cross-examine witnesses that testify against you
  • The right to testify in your own defense
  • The right to a speedy trial
  • The right to use the subpoena powers of the court to compel witnesses to testify
  • The right to a jury trial (except in juvenile cases and many misdemeanor cases)
  • The right to an impartial jury
  • The right to produce evidence in your defense

The best way to ensure all of your rights are protected is to exercise your right to an attorney by contacting an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Most will at least discuss your case with you at no charge, so it doesn’t hurt to schedule a consultation. The consequences of a criminal conviction in Arizona are severe, so it’s important to take any criminal charge seriously. For a free, confidential case assessment, call us at 520.314.4125 or contact us online.