Facing violent crime charges can be a frightening experience. According to the FBI, a violent crime is any type of illegal activity that involves the use of force or the threat of violence against another person, such as aggravated assault or robbery. While these charges carry heavy penalties that may include life prison sentences, it is important for anyone who is charged with an act of violence to understand they still have rights granted by the U.S. Constitution. If you are facing violent crime charges, then here is everything you need to know about the rights that should be upheld from the beginning of the investigation and throughout your trial.
Protection from Unlawful Search and Seizure
When law enforcement officers suspect a person is involved in a violent crime, they immediately set their investigation into motion. However, in most instances, law enforcement agencies must protect the rights granted by the Fourth Amendment that prohibit unlawful search and seizure by obtaining a search warrant before investigating a person’s property. If your defense can prove that the proper procedures were not followed during the investigation, then the evidence found may be suppressed during your trial.
Assurance of a Fair and Speedy Trial
Once the charges have been filed, you are also granted the right to a speedy trial that is conducted with an impartial jury. Although opinions can vary regarding what constitutes a speedy trial, the Cornell University Law School Cornell University Law School states that the Speedy Trial Act gives courts 70 days from the time the prosecution files the indictment for a trial to take place.
Right to Legal Counsel
Among the many rights granted to criminal defendants, the right to avoid self-incrimination by seeking qualified legal counsel is one of the most important. Before any statement can be taken from a person accused of a crime, they must be informed of their rights to remain silent and to speak to an attorney. Once a person has sought legal counsel, they will be able to ensure that the rest of their rights are upheld.
Due to the serious penalties associated with violent crime charges, it is important for anyone accused of these crimes to understand they still have many rights that should be upheld throughout the entire criminal procedure. By understanding your right to a fair trial under the guidance of qualified legal counsel, you can ensure you have the best possible outcome when handling your charges.