Leesburg lawyers who practice criminal law offer their legal expertise in protecting clients’ constitutional rights to those accused of committing crimes. The Bill of Rights guarantees certain protections to criminal defendants, but it’s always a good idea for accused individuals to hire reputable criminal lawyers, in Leesburg or elsewhere, to ensure that those protections aren’t trampled on by the government, whether inadvertently or intentionally.
Two of the most important elements of protection provided for under the Bill of Rights are the presumption that a person is innocent until proven guilty, and that the prosecuting attorney must prove the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. Leesburg lawyers are well-versed in ensuring that prosecutors are held to this high burden of proof, in addition to protecting their clients’ other rights.
Leesburg lawyers can inform their clients that they’re entitled to the following rights: the right to remain silent, the right to have a jury trial in most cases, the right to have a public trial, the right to have a speedy trial, the right to confront witnesses, the right to be represented by an attorney–and to receive adequate representation–and the right to not be tried twice for the same offense (also known as “double jeopardy.”)
Many Leesburg lawyers view the right to remain silent as one of the most important of a defendant’s constitutional rights. The U.S. Constitution dictates that a defendant cannot “be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.” Neither the prosecuting attorney or the judge–or, if it comes down to it, even the defending Leesburg lawyer–can force a defendant to testify should he or she choose to exercise that Fifth Amendment right to silence.
The Sixth Amendment contains a “confrontation clause” that states that defendants have the right to “be confronted by the witnesses against” them. This means that witnesses must appear in court before the defendant, whose Leesburg lawyer will have the right to cross-examine all witnesses testifying against the accused. Prosecutors aren’t allowed to use written statements from absent witnesses to convince a jury of a defendant’s guilt, except in a few limited situations.
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