Constitutional Protections for the Criminal Defendant
The United States Constitution and its subsequent amendments define the scope of governmental power and reserve certain individual rights to the people. The first 10 amendments, called the Bill of Rights, contain basic, fundamental protections for individuals on which the government may not impinge. Many of these constitutional rights apply specifically to defendants in the criminal justice system. The 14th Amendment extends substantive due process rights beyond the federal system to criminal defendants in state courts, where the vast majority of criminal trials occur.
The basic constitutional right of a criminal defendant permeate almost every aspect of the criminal justice process. If you have been accused of a federal, state, tribal, or city/municipal/local crime, a criminal defense attorney from Randy Wilson, Attorney at Law in Abilene, TX, can help you better understand your rights and fight to protect them on your behalf.
Here are the main federal constitutional rights guaranteed to criminal defendants in the United States. Remember that these rights have been refined and interpreted by the courts, and a lawyer can advise you about each right’s role in and application to your particular case.
- The right to due process of law
- The right to equal protection under the law
- The right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure
- The right against self-incrimination (being forced to testify against oneself)
- The right against double jeopardy (being tried more than once for the same offense)
- The right to legal counsel
- The right to a speedy, public trial
- The right to an impartial jury trial
- The right to confront witnesses against you
- The right to call supporting witnesses
- The right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment
- The prohibition against ex post facto laws (laws that retroactively criminalize certain acts or retroactively increase criminal sanctions)
- The right to be free from excessive fines or excessive bail
- The right to clear notice of criminal charges
- The right to a grand jury in federal felony proceedings
Contact a criminal defense lawyer
Our criminal justice system is designed with constitutional protections designed to provide each criminal defendant with a fair trial. If you are under suspicion, are being investigated or have been charged with a crime, consult an experienced attorney at Randy Wilson, Attorney at Law in Abilene, TX, as soon as possible.
DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.