What Rights Do Criminal Defendants Have?

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Becoming a criminal defendant is a serious matter. This is why, when you enter a criminal court, you must fully understand your rights and ensure that they are being met. Read on to discover what rights you have as a criminal defendant and how a seasoned Bergen County, New Jersey criminal defense lawyer at the Law Office of E. Gregory Cannarozzi can help you in protecting them.

What rights do I have at the time of my arrest?

Before you even enter a criminal court, you are granted rights. In other words, a law enforcement officer is required to recite the Miranda rights to you at the time of your arrest. The Miranda rights should be delivered to you as follows:

  • “You have the right to remain silent.”
  • “Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.”
  • “You have the right to an attorney during interrogation.”
  • If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you.”
  • “Do you understand the rights I have just read to you?”

Importantly, you must answer “yes” to the final question. This is because, if you remain silent because you do not hear these rights being given to you, you do not understand these rights being given to you, or otherwise, a law enforcement officer may breach this right if they proceed any further.

As a criminal defendant, what rights do I have?

Then, upon entering a criminal court, you are given additional rights as a criminal defendant. These rights include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The right to remain silent during testimonies.
  • The right to confront witnesses during cross-examinations.
  • The right to a public trial with family, friends, citizens, and the press present.
  • The right to a jury trial that is screened for bias.
  • The right to a speedy trial, at the judge’s discretion.
  • The right to be represented by an attorney, whether selected or provided to you.
  • The right to receive adequate legal representation, whether selected or provided to you.
  • The right to not be tried twice for the same offense.

All in all, you must not participate in any activity that may accidentally incriminate yourself and jeopardize your opportunity at having your charges reduced or dismissed. This is why we recommend that you gain legal representation from a competent Bergen County, New Jersey criminal defense lawyer. We have your best interest at heart, so call us today.

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