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The Law Office of Michael D. Litman, PLLC Aug. 5, 2022

Criminal Defense - Know Your Rights

No matter what you’ve been charged with, you are guaranteed certain rights; and as criminal defense lawyers it is our job to make sure those rights are defended. No matter whether you have been charged with a major crime or a minor one, no matter whether you’re guilty or not guilty, you have rights that need to be defended.

Under the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution, you have a number of rights that the government must respect, no matter what the charges against you may be. These rights help to protect citizens against being treated arbitrarily by the government and ensure that the legal system works as fairly and transparently as possible. Here are some of the most important rights citizens are granted under the Constitution:

  • A Speedy Trial: This means you have the right to have your trial take place within a reasonable amount of time after your arrest. There are some valid reasons why a trial can be delayed, but a trial cannot be delayed purely in order to give the prosecution an advantage.

  • A Public Trial: Defendants have the right to a public trial because it ensures that the legal system remains transparent and open to correction by the public. It makes sure the correct procedures are followed and keeps the legal system functioning as impartially as possible. There are some circumstances where a defendant may opt for a trial that is closed to the public; but, as a rule, the right to a public trial helps ensure the quality of the legal system.

  • An Impartial Jury: For most criminal charges, defendants have the right to a jury trial. This means the defendant has the right to be judged guilty or not guilty by a group of jurors who have been chosen for being unbiased. The right to a jury trial doesn’t apply in the case of more minor charges (those that have a possible sentence of less than six months) or juvenile cases.

  • A Notice of Accusation: As the defendant, you have the right to know what you are being charged with. The police are not allowed to arrest people without bringing charges against them and informing them what those charges are.

  • The Assistance of Legal Counsel: As a defendant, you have the right to be defended by a qualified attorney, even if you don’t have the means to pay for one. That being said, if you can afford to pay for your own legal counsel, it’s generally a good idea to do so.

These rights are extremely important, and we make sure that they are protected throughout the entire defense process. If you have been subjected to unfair practices by the authorities, we will make sure the authorities are held accountable. We also make sure that our clients are fully informed of their rights.

At the Law Office of Michael D. Litman, PLLC, our Westchester criminal lawyer serves defendants facing a variety of charges, including DWI charges, drug charges, weapons charges, assault charges, larceny, burglary, identity theft, and sex crimes. Click the link below if you want to learn more about your rights and the legal process for criminal defense in general, or send us an email or call us set up your free consultation.


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