|Tagged in: Marietta Criminal Defense Attorney , Atlanta defense attorney , Atlanta Attorney||Dec 14, 2011||
|Posted by: Lance Dutton, Criminal Defense Attorney|
Even those accused of a crime are subject to certain rights under Georgia Law. In each phase of any criminal proceeding from first getting arrested to the final verdict, a defendant has rights that are upheld by the government. Below are the rights a defendant has when accused of a crime in Georgia.
- Self – Incrimination: Under the Fifth Amendment you have the right to not be forced to answer any question that could possibly incriminate you, whether you are on the witness stand, under investigation or the defendant.
- Counsel: Under Georgia Law you have the right to hire the attorney of your choosing or have one appointed to you if you cannot afford an attorney. You can hire an attorney anytime you want including pre-arrest. An attorney will not be appointed to you (if you qualify) until after you have been arrested. By this time, it may be too late to protect all of your rights or freedom, which is why it is always important to hire an attorney as early as possible if you are able to afford one.
- Speedy Trial: All criminal defendants have the right to a fair and speedy trial. However, this is somewhat misleading as it applies only after your case has been accused or indicted under Georgia law, which can take several years for a prosecutor to do. If a client cannot bond out, they can be left with the choice of staying in custody and waiting for trial or agreeing to plead guilty to simply get out of custody when they may have been able to win the case at trial. The only other option prior to indictment or accusation is a Constitutional Due Process Speedy Challenge, which usually will not be entertained unless you have been in custody for at least a year.
- Double Jeopardy: The government cannot put someone on trial for the same crime twice. There are a few exceptions that go along with this rule including a mistrial or hung jury.
- Confrontation: Under the Sixth Amendment a criminal defendant has the right to confront witness at trial, commonly referred to as Crawford rights. Confrontation rights do not apply in preliminary hearings/probable cause hearings as hearsay will be admissible.
Consult an experienced Atlanta criminal defense attorney to better understand all your rights when accused of a crime in Georgia.