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Your Rights in the Criminal Process

We’ve all seen criminals on late-night drama shows exclaiming that they know their rights.  However, it’s not always clear what somebody’s rights during a criminal process actually are. Knowing your rights is vital to making sure that they are upheld. Most of the rights that a person is entitled to during the criminal process are laid out in the Bill of Rights. Though different states may have their own laws on top of the basics, the civil liberties that come from the Bill of Rights are irrefutable and extend across the nation.

What are my rights?

The basic right underlying everything else is the concept in American law that a defendant is innocent until he or she is proven guilty. This prevents the denial of rights on the basis of criminal acts, because it prevents defendants from being labeled as criminals without the proper proceedings. Some of the most basic rights during the criminal process as laid out in the Bill of Rights are:


  • The right to know of what you are accused
  • The right to a speedy trial
  • The right to not incriminate yourself – also known as the right to remain silent
  • The right to be judged by an impartial jury
  • The right to be represented by an attorney


These are just a few of the rights afforded to defendants under federal law. Although the court and law enforcement are bound to uphold these rights, they do not always do so. This is why it is imperative to secure an attorney whose job and responsibility it is to look out for your rights. Note that you are not only entitled to legal representation ― you are entitled to a representative who does a good job. As Jacksonville criminal defense lawyers, we have seen too many cases of a person’s rights being violated, without them being aware of it, before calling in a competent lawyer. Civil liberties are the foundation for the American criminal justice system, but they are too often subverted because people simply are not aware of their rights.


Schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer

When you are charged with a crime, you need somebody by your side that will fiercely defend your rights and fight for your case. At Robert Shafer & Associates, P.A. we have been working hard in Jacksonville and Northern Florida to defend our clients since 1979. Call us to schedule a free consultation and see how we can help you.

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