Rights of the Accused: What the 5th Amendment Says

In the eyes of law, all are innocent until proven guilty. In case you find yourself accused of a crime, there arespecific rights that prosecutors, law enforcement officers and all others involved in the case should respect.

Below is a summary of the rights outlined in the 5th amendment.

The Right against Compelled Self-Incrimination

By the term itself, the right against self-incrimination means that the suspect should not be witness against himself. This law does not only cover the actual trial proceedings, but also police questioning. A suspect in police custody may choose not to answer questions pertaining to the criminal accusation they are facing.

law courtThe Right to a Grand Jury

A grand jury is a group of people who decides if there is enough evidence to charge a suspect. In the court proceeding, the prosecutor presents the evidence and the jury determines if it’s an indictment or a “no bill.”An indictment verifies that the evidence is enough to make a charge. A no-bill, on the other hand, means that the suspect is not charged with the offense.

To indict a suspect, criminal defense attorneys from WilliamBlyLaw.com explain that the grand jury must find probable cause, meaning there needs to be solid evidence of the crime committed and that the suspect is behind it all.

The Right of Protection against Double Jeopardy

This right protects the accused in three ways. First, the suspect should not have to face trialfor a crime where they were already proven innocent. Next, there should not be trialfor an offense they were already convicted of. Lastly, there should be punishment should not be servedseveral times for the same crime.

The Right to Due Process

There are two parts to the concept of due process: procedural and substantive. Procedural due process banks on the legal concept of fundamental fairness. This means a person should knowabout the charges and legal process against them and that they must have the chance to react to it. Substantive due process, on the other hand, goes beyond the setting of criminal court hearings.

It is important to know your rights if you are facing criminal accusation. Consult a lawyer; they can help you better understand the law and uphold your rights in court.