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What are a person’s rights when going to trial?

If you need to go to trial as a defendant, then it is likely that you feel stressed and worried that you will not be treated fairly. It is important to remember, therefore, the rights that you have as a defendant or as any person under trial.

As a defendant, you always have constitutional rights. This means that under the Eighth Amendment, you have the right to be protected from cruel and unusual punishment. This can include violence, torture and psychological abuse. In addition to your human rights, the following are some key rights that are important to note.

You have the right to be protected from double jeopardy

Double jeopardy is a situation when a person convicted of a crime is charged more that once for the same unlawful act. This is a complex part of the law; however, your protection from double jeopardy will hold in most circumstances.

You have the right to a fast jury trial

The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. constitution provides you with the right to a fast trial, with no unnecessary delays.

You have the right to an explanation

As a defendant, you have the right to knowledge about what the varying degrees of guilt and how the charges work. You should also be informed about what admissions of guilt will lead to a certain charge.

If you have been accused of a crime, it is very important that you take action immediately. You should also be aware of your rights so that you know what to demand and expect of the legal system.

Source: FindLaw, "Trial Rights," accessed Jan. 19, 2018

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