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Bucher Law Group, LLC

Your rights during the criminal trial process

 Posted on May 19, 2017 in Criminal Defense

Being arrested for a criminal allegation is a difficult event to process. While individuals in Wisconsin and other states across the nation understand that they are afforded certain rights, this doesn't make it any easier to face criminal charges. Many questions and emotions arise when a defendant is formally charged with a crime. Thus, it is important to understand what happens next.

Following a formal criminal charge, a defendant's case moves forward to the criminal trial process, unless the accused pleads guilty to the charges. The criminal trial begins with the jury selection process. This is a right provided to defendants.

Another right, which is provided by the Sixth Amendment, is the right to counsel. If a defendant is unable to afford an attorney of their own, they might be entitled to a court-appointed attorney. This is a right that can be invoked before, during and after a criminal trial.

Once the jury is selected, the trial will begin with opening statements from the prosecution and defense. Following this, each side will present evidence, call witnesses for testimony and conduct cross-examinations. During this portion of the trial, another right could be asserted. A defendant has the right against self-incrimination. This is a right provided by the Fifth Amendment. This means that a defendant cannot be compelled to testify against himself or herself.

The final right a defendant has during the criminal trial proceeding is to assert an insanity defense. A defendant has the right to present evidence about their state of mind during the time of the alleged crime. While the insanity defense isn't used often, this right does generate a wide range of tests and could be applied differently from state to state.

While various rights are afforded to defendants during the criminal trial process, it is important to understand all rights afforded from being charged until the end of the criminal proceeding. Thus, it is important for defendants to understand what rights they are afforded and what steps they can take to protect themselves.

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