The Role and Rights of the Accused in a Criminal Trial
Our Fort Worth criminal defense attorneys explain your rights if you are accused of a crime in Texas and the role you play in building a strong defense.
Being accused of a crime in Texas can be a devastating experience. It may cost you your job, your family, your freedom, and your future dreams. When facing this situation, it is vitally important to be aware of your rights. Our Fort Worth criminal defense attorneys explain state and federal laws designed to protect you and the role you play in preventing a conviction.
Your Rights if You are Charged With a Crime in Texas
The Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees certain rights to people accused of committing crimes. The Texas Constitution also offers protections if you are charged with a crime in Fort Worth. These include:
- The right to know the nature of your charges and the evidence against you;
- The right to remain silent and avoid self-incrimination;
- The right to obtain legal counsel;
- The right to a speedy and public trial;
- The right to face your accusers;
- The right to defend yourself and gather evidence in your favor, such as an alibi, witness testimony, and statements from family and friends.
You have the right to negotiate (or have your legal counsel negotiate on your behalf, which is strongly advised) with police and prosecutors in your case to get your charges reduced or dismissed. You have additional rights under the Texas Criminal Code which prevents illegal searches and seizures or arrests without cause and provides for bail/bond hearings, other than in certain limited cases. Double Jeopardy also applies, meaning you cannot be charged twice for the same offense. If acquitted, you also cannot be tried again on that specific offense in the future.
Your Role in Fort Worth Criminal Court Proceedings
Being aware of your rights can help to protect you if you are charged with a crime and prosecuted through the Tarrant County Criminal Court. It is also important to be aware of the role you play in these proceedings and actions or inactions that could work against you. In general, follow these tips:
- Remain silent, maintain your composure, and request legal help immediately;
- Answer your attorney’s questions and disclose pertinent information that may help your case;
- Look and act in a respectful manner and appear on time for all legal proceedings;
- Manage your expectations and realize you may have to negotiate;
- Notify your attorney immediately if you are contacted by anyone associated with your case or are served legal documents, either in person or through the mail;
- Avoid discussing your case with anyone or posting on social media.
Contact Our Fort Worth Criminal Defense Attorneys Today
At the Law Office of Kyle Whitaker, we protect your rights and can advise you on the role you play in building a strong defense. If you are accused of a crime, call 817-332-7703 or contact our office online. Request a consultation with our Fort Worth criminal defense attorneys today.