Tag Archives: legal rights

St. Charles Defense Attorney

When you are arrested because you are accused of a crime, it can be a frightening experience. There is the uncertainty of what will happen to you, but also a feeling that you have no control of the situation. It is important to remember you do have rights as an arrested citizen. The United States Constitution gives each and every U.S. citizen certain rights when they face criminal allegations.

Innocent Until Proven Guilty

In criminal trials, it is the responsibility of the plaintiff or prosecutor to prove the defendant is guilty, rather than the defendant having to prove they are innocent. It is presumed all defendants are innocent until they are proven to be guilty of the alleged crime. Guilt must also be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

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 appeal, court case, verdict appeal, prosecution, Naperville criminal defense attorney, The last thing you may want to hear, after winning a criminal case at trial, is that the prosecution is seeking to appeal the verdict. Luckily, the state can never appeal the verdict, no matter what evidence is later found pointing to the guilt of a defendant. The Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees that no person shall face trial and be in danger of punishment for the same crime twice. This is what is referred to as double jeopardy. This means there can be no retrial for the same crime after a defendant has been acquitted or convicted. The U.S. Supreme Court has defined an acquittal as any outcome of a trial that lets the defendant go free because of lack of evidence of his or her guilt, and also situations where the judge or jury finds the defendant was not responsible for the crime.

Sometimes, the prosecution may dismiss your charges before the trial begins. For double jeopardy purposes, the trial begins with the swearing in of the jury or the swearing in of the witnesses. If the prosecution dismisses, they can later refile the charges against you without violating the Fifth Amendment. If you are charged with a crime but you believe that double jeopardy applies because you were previously tried for the same crime, you can ask the judge to dismiss the charges. Should the judge refuse to dismiss, you can appeal this decision to the appeals court.

When Can The State Appeal

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