When a person is charged with a crime, it can be a traumatic and stressful experience. Dealing with a criminal charge can be a challenging process, especially if it is the first time that you have been booked.
Unfortunately, people across the United States are charged with crimes every day. Thousands of people are charged with felonies and misdemeanors across the country, many of which are unaware and didn’t think they were doing anything illegal. Felony and misdemeanor charges are classifications for common criminal charges. Crimes differ from simple or basic ones like parking or speeding offenses to serious things like assault or drug-related offenses.
When you realize you are being charged with a crime, you will not know how to react, what to say, what to do or how to protect yourself. Hiring a good Criminal Defense Attorney in San Francisco is the first action a person should take. An experienced criminal law firm like The Hallinan Law Firm can help you deal with your charges mentally, guide you on what your next steps should be, help you navigate the criminal justice system, and make sure that your rights are protected.
Here we break down legal rights by the constitution, which you should be aware of if you are charged with a criminal offense. It is important for someone who faces criminal charges to know their rights, so they can take the proper action to exercise their rights.
Right to remain silent
In the United States, the right to remain silent is designed to protect a person who is undergoing police questioning or trial. This right helps a person avoid making self-incriminating statements. It may also include the condition that unfavorable comments or inferences cannot be made by the tribunal because the defendant refused to answer questions before or during a court trial.
The Miranda Warning is used to inform a suspect of his or her right to remain silent after being placed under arrest. This warning came into being after the United States Supreme Court case of Miranda v. Arizona. The court stated that a confession would be inadmissible under the Fifth Amendment self-incrimination clause unless the suspect was made aware of his or her rights and had thus waived them.
To “plead the Fifth” is to refuse to answer a question because the response could provide self-incriminating evidence of an illegal act punishable by fines, penalties, or forfeiture.
Hence, if you don’t think that you have anything to say which would be profitable to you or useful, you should evoke your right to remain silent for that particular time period.
Right to Information
Accused persons have the right to know what charges have been made against them. If your charges are not read out clearly or you don’t understand you have the right to ask to hear them again. It’s important to know about your charges to fight them effectively.
Right to an Attorney
In criminal cases, the accused have a right to a competent lawyer. You can have a private conversation with the lawyer after reaching the police station and once you are aware of your charges. Many police stations have a list of lawyers to help the accused, which will be provided to you by them, free of cost.
It’s very important to hire an experienced, skillful, and practiced criminal defense lawyer as they are your primary, main line of defense against your charges.
Right to a speedy and public trial with an impartial judge or jury
The Speedy Trial Clause was designed by the Founding Fathers to prevent defendants from getting wasted away or sorrowful in jail for an indefinite period before trial, to minimize the time in which a defendant’s life is disrupted and burdened by the anxiety and investigation accompanying public criminal proceedings, and to reduce the chances that a prolonged delay before trial will impair the ability of the accused to prepare a defense.
The Founding Fathers believed that public criminal proceedings would operate as a check against malicious prosecutions, corrupt or manipulable judges, and perjurious witnesses. The public nature of criminal proceedings also aids the fact-finding mission of the judiciary by encouraging citizens to come forward with relevant information, whether guilty or innocent.
A juror’s impartiality may be compromised by sources outside the courtroom, such as the media. Jurors may not consider newspaper, television, and radio coverage before or during the trial when evaluating the guilt or innocence of the defendant. Before trial, judges will take special care to filter out those jurors whose neutrality has been compromised by extensive media coverage. During the trial, judges will instruct jurors to avoid exposing themselves to such outside sources.
Right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty in court
The most important constitutional right in the US criminal justice system is the presumption of innocence. The Supreme Court has repeatedly cautioned lower courts in the United States that juries must be properly instructed that the defendant is innocent until proven guilty. This is the origin of the “beyond all reasonable doubt” standard of proof and is an instruction given to juries in each criminal case.
Charged with Crime?
Mr. Neil Hallinan at The Hallinan Law firm, San Francisco is an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney who has worked as a public defender in Sacramento and Alameda counties has a combined experience of 10 years and comes with distinctive knowledge of how the state works when they are trying to convict someone of a crime. This gives him an edge over a system and effective approaches to prevent it from happening with his clients.
At The Hallinan Law Firm, we are dedicated to guiding our clients through the legal process for a favorable outcome. Even though you have been charged, it does not mean you will be convicted. With the police and government working against you, it’s time to get an experienced criminal defense lawyer in your corner.