If you are accused of a crime you are guaranteed certain rights under the United States Constitution. Each of the first ten amendments to the federal Constitution, also known as the Bill of Rights, provides important rights for individuals to be protected from government overreach.
Some of the most important legal rights as a criminal defendant are the rights covered by the Sixth Amendment, and understanding these legal rights is absolutely imperative if you have been charged with DUI in South Carolina.
What is Covered by the Sixth Amendment?
Some constitutional amendments concern the rights of all people in the United States, but the Sixth Amendment specifically protects criminal defendants from overzealous or unfair prosecution by the government. The Sixth Amendment applies to both federal courts and state courts.
Under the Sixth Amendment individuals are granted several specific special rights. Defendants are guaranteed the right to a public and speedy trial, meaning that the trial cannot be secret and that the government cannot unnecessarily delay the trial to disadvantage the defendant or essentially punish him by making him wait an unreasonably long time for his day in court.
Also, the Sixth Amendment provides that individuals accused of a crime are permitted to have an attorney even if he or she cannot afford one. The reason that courts will allow all defendants this right is to ensure that proper “due process” is given to all individuals accused of a crime. Due process implies that everyone involved in litigation must have a fair opportunity to be heard and to have a fair and open legal proceeding before being convicted of a crime.
The Sixth Amendment and Miranda Rights
Rights from the Bill of Rights, including the Sixth Amendment, are often noted in popular culture in television and movies. To be sure, many individuals have witnessed a scene in which an arrest is made, and the police invariably recite what are known as Miranda rights. These rights were given such a name after criminal defendant Ernesto Miranda, who won a major court case that would require the police to tell those who were arrested for committing a crime of the certain constitutional rights. One of the rights required in a Miranda warning is that the police must state that the accused has a right to an attorney. The police must also inform arrestees, prior to any interrogation, that anything they say at that time can and will be used as evidence in their trial.
A Fundamental Right
The right to an attorney is a fundamental right for criminal defendants. The Sixth Amendment protects defendants from unfair prosecution by allowing them certain rights that cannot be denied to them. Criminal defendants should always consider hiring legal counsel as criminal cases can sometimes be complicated and the stakes for a criminal case are extremely high.
Contact an Experienced Lawyer For DUI Help
If you have any questions about your legal rights as a criminal defendant particularly with regard to a DUI case in South Carolina, or if you or a loved one is facing DUI charges, it is imperative that you reach out to a lawyer for help. The Bateman Law Firm is prepared to help you craft a strong and professional legal defense if you have been arrested and charged with DUI in Greenville or surrounding areas in South Carolina.