5 Facts Every Defendant Should Know About the Criminal Process

Posted on by New Mexico Criminal Law Offices

Experienced Criminal Process Attorneys Serving all of New Mexico

criminal process factsThe criminal process, also known as the criminal procedure, is a standard set of rights and rules that law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges must follow.

While this can be an in-depth topic, particular facts are more important. These facts help you identify your rights and prepare you for the trial and process ahead. If you do not know your rights, you may not find out when they have been violated. Therefore, review these facts.

Also, realize that the process is the same whether you are a first-time offender, facing misdemeanor charges, or you have a serious felony pending.

What 5 Facts Should Every Criminal Defendant Know?

There are safeguards for federal and state-level crimes. These safeguards protect your rights and ensure you receive not only a fair trial but what the Constitution provides you with being an American citizen.

1. The Fifth Amendment Offers More Protections Than You Realize

The Fifth Amendment is notoriously referenced as the anti-self-incrimination right. However, did you know that the Fifth Amendment also protects you from certain acts in the death penalty, protection from double jeopardy, and offers you the right to due process?

2. The Eighth Amendment Ensures Bail is Never Excessive

Via the Eighth Amendment, you are protected from a bail amount that is “excessive.” Also, you have protections against excessive fines for your crimes, and that cruel and unusual punishment is not used as a penalty for your crime.

3. The Sixth Amendment Protects Your Rights at Trial

The Sixth Amendment is there to offer you a speedy and public trial. However, fast in the eyes of the public justice system is not always as quick as you might like.

4. You Cannot be Charged Excessive Fines or Bail

The amendments, specifically the eighth, was designed to ensure that federal prosecutions could not use excessive bail or impose burdening fines. However, the Fourteenth Amendment also bars the state from depriving you of your life, liberty or property without due process and says that the state must provide you with the same protections under the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments.

5. You Have Fundamental Rights

In a criminal case, you have basic rights, including the right to be free from unlawful searches and seizures, freedom from cruel and unusual punishment, the right to an attorney, the right to protect yourself against self-incrimination, and so forth. To protect these rights, it is in your best interest to hire a criminal defense attorney. Not all your protections apply every time you deal with law enforcement. In some cases, you must be under arrest for certain rights to activate.

Protect Your Rights by Working with a Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one has been arrested, the first step is to contact an attorney for assistance.  Our attorneys are here to protect your rights and ensure you receive a fair trial for your alleged crime. Speak with a lawyer from New Mexico Criminal Law Offices today by calling 505-375-4671 or request more information online.