Sabtu, 22 November 2014

Criminal Law: Your Constitutional Rights

Every saint has a past and every sinner a future. Criminal law takes cognizance of this universal truth and every accused is provided with ample rights while deciding whether he/she has committed any offence. Prosecution guidelines provide for certain procedural niceties to be extended to a person accused of crime. After all, the law intends to punish the crime, not the criminal. Adversarial system views crime as a wrongdoing against the state and not against a particular person. The interests of the state are represented by the prosecuting attorney. As such, law views the offender sympathetically and treats him/her as innocent until proved guilty and passes the burden of proving the case to the prosecution. The defendant has a right to be presumed innocent unless and until the State has proven each and every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Thus, for instance, if a culpable mental state is required to prove a crime, the prosecution must prove that it existed at the time of commission of the offence.

Constitutional Rights

The United States Constitution guarantees a wide array of rights to the criminal defendant from the time of arrest through the trial proceedings. These include: the right to be free from any unreasonable search and seizure, to remain silent, to be tried before a judge or a jury, to summon witnesses and compel their attendance to testify on behalf of the defendant, and to confront and cross-examine any witness the State may call. The defendant in a criminal case has a right to a speedy trial and to be represented by an attorney and is entitled to have an attorney appointed by the court, if the defendant is unable to afford one. The defendant also has a right to consult an attorney or family members before pleading guilty or not guilty before the court.

The criminal proceedings begin by the initiation of a complaint by the purportedly injured person, the complainant. The police investigate about the complaint. A formal charging document called a complaint or an indictment brought by a grand jury is filed with a court in the proper jurisdiction.

If you want to know more about Criminal Law, you can read more articles at Fresno Criminal Attorney.

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