Criminal defense law renders legal protection for those accused of violations of federal, state, or local criminal laws, ranging from minor infractions to those of a severe nature. A criminal defense attorney’s role is to advocate for an individual being investigated or arrested by challenging the validity of the prosecution’s evidence. They are the accused’s voice in the initial investigation, the setting of bail, and plea-bargaining. Many cases do not go to trial as experienced criminal defense attorneys can successfully plea bargain with prosecutors. Clients depend on their criminal defense attorney to present a cohesive and coherent case to a judge and jury. In many cases, a lawyer can get a case dismissed by suppressing illegally obtained evidence or procedural violations by law enforcement or the prosecution. For those defendants found guilty, they can file for an appeals process.
Bill of Rights protections for Criminal Defendants
The Bill of Rights are amendments to the United States Constitution. These amendments grant civil rights and liberties and set up rules for due process of the law. They have a significant impact on the criminal justice system and are designed to protect an accused’s rights.
When there is a breach of a defendant’s constitutional rights during a criminal justice process, the result may be an acquittal, the filing of an appeal, or the defendant has a right to request a new trial.
Some of these protections include but are not limited to:
- The Fourth Amendment prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. It requires a judicial order for a warrant, supported by probable cause.
- The Fifth Amendment has safeguards designed to protect the rights of those accused of criminal and civil wrongdoings. It states that a person cannot be prosecuted and penalized without due process. Due process includes being served with notice and the right to be heard and provide a defense. This Amendment also gives the accused the right to remain silent in an investigation, and it protects against double jeopardy.
- The Sixth Amendment guarantees a speedy trial by an impartial jury to ensure the accused is treated fairly. A defendant has the right to know their accusers, the right to legal counsel, and obtain witnesses to support their defense.
- The Eighth Amendment limits the amount of bail ordered by the court. It protects against excessive bail for the crime due to a judge’s discretion and prejudice. It states that a person convicted of a crime shall not be inflicted with cruel and unusual punishment.
- The Fourteenth Amendment prohibits the local, state, or federal government from depriving any person of the right to life, liberty, or property without the law’s due process.
Choosing a Criminal Defense Attorney
Criminal proceedings are very complex. Choosing the right criminal defense attorney is vital to your case’s outcome. It can affect your liberty, livelihood, and personal relationships. Search for an attorney that has been recognized for superior legal services in a wide range of criminal defense practices. The law firm you choose must have trial experience in defending the alleged crime of the defendant. They should have a strong presence in the court system where the case is pending, whether that is a state, federal, or court of appeals.
A defendant must feel comfortable sharing the case’s details as their story is critical to the investigation and formulating a defense strategy. It is a factor in their exposure to having a criminal record, jail time, and other penalties. Your attorney should understand your goals, be responsive, and explain your options and possible outcomes. If you are being investigated or charged with a crime, contact a criminal defense law office immediately to protect your Constitutional rights and explore your options.
Connect with a Quality Criminal Defense Law Firm
My Lawyer Directory can help you find a criminal defense attorney committed to finding solutions tailored to your unique needs. You can feel confident that you have the attorney who best suits your situation, whether for a misdemeanor, felony, or federal crimes. Let us help you choose a criminal defense attorney in your geographical location that will tenaciously fight to protect your future.