If you’ve just received criminal charges, that doesn’t automatically mean you’re going to be found guilty of the charges or sent to jail. Instead, you’re about to start the criminal justice process, which ends with you being found guilty or cleared of all charges. Here are three of your rights that are good to know as the process begins.
- You’re Entitled to a Lawyer
In the United States, all people who must stand trial have the right to a lawyer. If possible, find an experienced lawyer who specializes in criminal law Decatur GA. If you don’t have enough money for a lawyer, the state is required to give you one. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that your state-appointed lawyer will be high-quality, so it is best to supply your own.
- You Get To Know What the Accusations Are
If someone has filed charges against you or you have been charged while already in jail, you must be told what those charges are. The police cannot arrest you without providing a reason, and they cannot hold you for more than 48 hours without formally declaring your charges.
- You Can Choose To Have a Jury Hear Your Case
Judges decide many civil cases, such as family legal matters or disputes about finances. If you’re participating in a criminal case, though, you can choose to have a jury decide whether you are guilty or not. This right is particularly valuable if you’re worried that the government might discriminate against you. Still, if you prefer to have one judge hear your case, you may decline your right to a jury.
If you’re accused of a crime, no matter how serious it is, it’s important for you to understand your rights. As the process continues, make sure to ask your lawyer whenever you are confused.