The Federal Constitution grants defendants important rights to protect them from government interference and improper prosecution. By setting out important personal rights in the Bill of Rights the Framers of the Constitution intended to put limits on the Federal and state governments. These rights protect individuals from government overreach and requires government agencies, such as the police and the courts to strictly follow certain procedures.
Sixth Amendment Rights
Each of the ten amendments of the Bill of Rights provides unique and important rights for individuals. The Sixth Amendment protects the rights of criminal defendants. These rights can be particularly important for individuals facing felony charges, such as certain DUI charges.
The Sixth Amendment promotes several rights for criminal defendants. First, defendants are entitled to a public trial without unnecessary delay. This means that the police and the courts cannot put someone in jail and delay trial or other hearings without a good reason or without the consent of the defendant.
Second, all criminal defendants are entitled to have an attorney. So, even if a defendant cannot afford an attorney he or she is entitled to get one from the government at no cost. Additionally, defendants cannot be denied the right to an attorney once they request one. That is, if you ask for an attorney when you first are arrested, the police cannot unreasonably delay your access to an attorney or deny the attorney to see you while they are in the process of interrogating you.
Third, defendants in criminal cases are entitled to a jury trial if they wish to have one. Further, the jury is to be made up of impartial people who represent the community. So, the jury cannot intentionally be made up of any one race, gender, or ethnicity, or explicitly exclude any particular group.
Fourth, individuals accused of criminal charges have the right to know who is accusing them in open court and to question them to test the witness’ statements. This section of the Sixth Amendment provides three important protections. First, it requires witnesses to testify under oath and understand the importance of his or her statements. Second, it permits the defendant, or his attorney, to also question the statements of any witnesses. And third, it allows jurors or the judge to personally view the witnesses to evaluate the truthfulness or accuracy of the statements each witness makes during the course of the trial. All of this is designed to ensure that the prosecution process is open and fair and provides the defendant with all appropriate opportunities to prove innocence.
Contact an Experienced Lawyer For DUI Legal Help
If you have any questions about your legal rights as a criminal defendant, it is critical that you reach out to a lawyer for assistance. The Bateman Law Firm is prepared to assist you with your case if you need legal defense in Greenville or the rest of South Carolina. Reach out to us today for a consultation on your case.