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Understand Your Rights When You Have Been Accused of a Crime

 Posted on June 03, 2022 in Criminal Defense

tarrant county crimnal defense lawyerWhen you have been arrested and accused of committing a crime, it can feel like you have no control over your situation. The Texas criminal justice system can be confusing, and the penalties for a conviction can be harsh. While you cannot control most of your situation, you do have certain rights that cannot be violated by the police, prosecutors, or the court. Many of these rights are guaranteed by the United States Constitution to ensure that all citizens are afforded due process of law. If you or a loved one were charged crime, read on to learn about some of the rights that criminal defendants have when facing prosecution.

The Presumption of Innocence and Reasonable Doubt

Being charged with a crime does not mean you are guilty. In the state of Texas, the burden is on the state to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime for which you are being charged. It may surprise you to learn that the presumption of innocence is not a right guaranteed by the Constitution. However, it is explicitly stated in Section 2.01 of the Texas Penal Code, and the idea has been upheld by the United States Supreme Court.

The Right to Remain Silent

The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution guarantees that no person shall be forced to testify against himself or herself. This right begins as soon as you begin interacting with law enforcement. Before you can even be questioned by police, the police are required to remind you of this right as part of your “Miranda” warnings. You are not required to answer questions or make any statements to the police, and you cannot be forced to testify against yourself at trial. The finder-of-fact in your case—namely, a judge or jury—cannot use your silence to infer your guilt.

The Right to an Attorney

Under the Sixth Amendment, you also have the right to counsel in any criminal prosecution. Originally promised just for federal prosecution, the U.S. Supreme Court eventually extended this right to state-level cases. This right means that you are entitled to have an attorney present during questioning and for the duration of your criminal proceedings. This right is also part of the Miranda warnings. If you can afford a lawyer, you can choose anyone you would like. If you cannot afford counsel, you will have an attorney appointed by the court.

Charged With a Crime? A Fort Worth Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help

It can be a frightening experience to find yourself in trouble with the law. While 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 The Dameron Law Firm, we have a long track record of getting our clients’ charges dismissed or reduced. Our experienced Tarrant County criminal defense lawyer can go over the details of your case and help you build a strong defense. Call our office today at 817-222-0624 to schedule a free consultation.



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