A Defendant’s Rights
You may be present whenever your cases is being heard
You may have a lawyer effectively represent and advise you. This right exists at all “critical stages” of a criminal trial, which include:
lineup identification after being charged
questioning after being charged
trial; pretrial hearings; post-trial motions
You have the absolute right to represent yourself, assuming you make a knowing and intelligent waiver of your right to an attorney
You may have an attorney appointed to represent you at public expense if incarceration (jail) is a possible punishment and you qualify as indigent.
You have the right to a speedy trial. Unless you waive this right, you must be brought to trial within 60 days if you are held in jail pending trial; otherwise, trial must occur within 90 days.
You are presumed innocent unless the prosecution can prove every element of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
You cannot be put in jeopardy twice for the same offense. Jeopardy attaches after the jury is selected and sworn, or in a bench trial, once evidence is presented. The protection against double jeopardy prohibits a new trial after a mistrial has been declared without the defendant’s request or consent, unless there is “manifest necessity” for the mistrial.
You may cross-examine any witness who testifies against you.
You may call witnesses to testify in your own behalf.
You may remain silent, either by refusing to testify or make any statements, and the silence may not be used as evidence that you have committed the crime charged. (This is known as “taking the Fifth”).
You may have a jury trial, and all jurors must agree on your guilt for you to be convicted.
You may appeal any decision made by the trial court or jury.
You waive the right to a trial and the right to appeal a finding of guilt by entering a “guilty plea.”
Except for in capital offenses, a defendant has a constitutional right to bail, which is to be set at the lowest level necessary to ensure the defendant’s appearance at all mandatory court dates.