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August 31, 2016

Rights of the Accused

Filed under: Criminal Trial Process — admin @ 9:00 am

Rights of the accused represented by gavel and handcuffsContrary to what television teaches, the role of a lawyer is not to let the guilty walk free and get away with crimes, but rather to ensure the rights of the accused are protected and observed throughout the legal process. Everyone is familiar with at least the first part of the Miranda Rights: “You have the right to remain silent.” However, not everyone knows the rest of the Miranda Rights or what their rights are in a court of law; we just know that lawyers are supposed to help. Arizona criminal lawyer Josh Blumenreich has experience in the Arizona court system and a proven track record of success.

Miranda Rights

It’s important to understand your Miranda Rights in full. You can read more in depth about the Miranda Rights here, but here’s a quick rundown.

  • You have the right to remain silent.
  • Anything you say can, and will, be used against you in a court of law.
  • You have the right to an attorney.
  • If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.
  • Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?

Even though television has taught us that police officers read a suspect the Miranda Rights during an arrest, that is not always the case. An arrest can occur without the Miranda Rights being read. The police are only required to read these rights to a suspect if they intend to interrogate the suspect while in custody. There are exceptions to this, however, such as when public safety is a concern. In such a case, questions can be asked without the suspect being Mirandized, and evidence obtained may be used against the suspect. The purpose of the Miranda Rights is to protect a person from self-incrimination according to the Fifth Amendment. It is not a shield against being arrested.

Self-Incrimination

The Fifth Amendment states that no person “shall be compelled in a criminal case to be a witness against himself.”  This does not mean a person can refuse to testify because it might be embarrassing. The defendant must have a legitimate concern that any testimony they provide would contribute toward their own conviction, such as the infamous Casey Anthony case. When faced with such a situation, a person may invoke this right and “plead the Fifth” or “claim their Fifth Amendment rights.” It’s also important to note that pleading the Fifth does not mean a person is guilty, as is often the case in procedural police television shows.

Search Warrants

One of the most common causes of evidence, or even an entire case, getting thrown out is that it was obtained without a proper search warrant. Without a warrant, an individual’s private property cannot be searched or seized according to the Fourth Amendment. What this means is that, in order to search a suspect’s home, conduct a search, and seize evidence, an officer must first compile sufficient evidence to convince a judge that a search is “warranted” and obtain the written permission to conduct the search. Evidence obtained without a warrant cannot be administered in a court of law as it was obtained illegally.

These are a few of the legal rights that every person has under the court of law and, as your criminal attorney, Josh Blumenreich will fight to defend them. Don’t take chances with a public defender. Contact us online or call (602)252-2570 today and get a free consultation on your case!

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