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Have You Been Accused of a Crime in California? You Have Rights.

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Santa Clara County criminal defense attorney

When you are accused of a crime, it can seem like you have no control over your situation. The criminal justice system and the process can be confusing, and it can sometimes feel like a waiting game when you are in the middle of criminal proceedings. While you might have limited control over your situation when you are accused of a crime, there are certain rights that you do have. The United States Constitution guarantees specific rights to each and every U.S. citizen if they are ever accused of a crime. These rights were granted to citizens to ensure that each person has the same chance of a fair trial. It is important to understand your rights if you are facing any type of criminal charge in California. 

The Presumption of Innocence

When you are accused of a crime, you are presumed to be innocent. In California, the burden is on the state to prove that you are guilty of the crime for which you have been charged. This is where the widely known phrase “innocent until proven guilty” comes from. Going along with your right to presumed innocence, the prosecution must prove you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, which was put into place to try to prevent people from being incriminated on insufficient evidence.

The Right to Remain Silent

As many people know from popular television shows like COPS, the right to remain silent is one of the first rights you are informed of when you are arrested or before you are interrogated by police. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution promises that all citizens have the right against self-incrimination. Thanks to the 1966 U.S. Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona, all suspects must be informed of this right before they can be interrogated by police. This right means that you do not have to answer any questions or make any statements to the police and that a jury cannot use your silence to infer guilt.

The Right to an Attorney

Also part of the Miranda Rights is that you must be informed of your Sixth Amendment right to legal counsel if you are arrested and before you are interrogated by police. You have the ability to choose who represents you, but if you cannot afford an attorney, the state is required to appoint an attorney to your case who is responsible for preparing your defense.

Contact a Santa Clara County Criminal Defense Attorney Today

It can be very scary and intimidating if you ever find yourself in trouble with the law. Although being accused of a crime can be a nerve-racking experience, it is important to remember that you do have rights and that you are able to invoke them at any time. At Fuller Law Office, we have a long track record of getting our clients’ charges dismissed or reduced. Our skilled San Jose, CA criminal defense lawyer can go over the details of your case and build a strong defense on your behalf to avoid a conviction. Call our office today at 408-234-7563 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://bja.ojp.gov/program/sixthamendment/sixth-amendment

https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/GPO-CONAN-1992/pdf/GPO-CONAN-1992-10-7.pdf

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