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Your Constitutional Guarantees when You Are Arrested

The United States Constitution protects the rights of suspects accused of committing crimes. One of these protections is the right to be represented by an attorney. If you are in Nevada, you will want the services of a Las Vegas Criminal Defense Attorney . A Las Vegas Criminal Defense Lawyer is highly trained in the law and will work hard to see that your constitutional rights are not trampled.

The most basic right provided to all citizens is the presumption of innocence. That is, the court assumes that you are not guilty unless the prosecutor can prove otherwise. This presumption is not actually in the Constitution, but it is implied through the 5th, 6th and 14th amendments. This is the reason that, when you are brought into court, you plead not guilty. It is then the prosecutor’s job to prove your guilt.

Another right says that you can’t be held in jail for an unspecified time period. Speedy trials are a right all Americans are born with. At any time you can petition to either have your plea tried or to be released from detention. This request is known as a writ of habeas corpus. This right is considered to be one of the most efficient safeguards to your liberty. Under this right, they can’t “lock you up and throw away the key” before your trial.

You’ve seen it on television and in the movies a hundred or more times. The police officer stops the suspect and “reads him his rights.” It starts out, “You have the right to remain silent” and informs the suspect that he has the right to have legal representation. This right has to do with the Fifth Amendment, one of the amendments in the Bill of Rights. The Fifth Amendment prevents the court from forcing the suspect to do or say anything that would incriminate him. Under ancient penal codes, an accused person would be tortured into giving a confession. Under this torture, the suspect would probably end up confessing in spite of his innocence. The Fifth Amendment prevents this situation from happening because it says you don’t have to say a word. It’s the prosecutor’s duty to prove your guilt.

Another right guaranteed by the Constitution is the right to have your case heard and decided by a jury of your peers. Choosing a jury trial assures you of being heard openly and fairly. Again, this right means that the court can’t keep you hidden while they come up with an arbitrary decision. All arguments must be presented openly. In most cases, the jury’s decision must be unanimous.

The Constitution prevents certain laws from being passed. No law that is put on the books can be enforced retroactively. This means that, if you performed a certaion action today, the government couldn’t prosecute you if they outlawed that activity next year. The prohibition against passing ex post facto laws is spelled out in Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution.

The complexities of the law are confusing. Few people have enough knowledge to survive alone in court. To ensure that your rights are upheld, you should retain a competent attorney

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