Know Your Rights: Right to a Fair and Impartial Trial
Being accused of a crime can be devastating. Whether guilty or not, you have the right to a fair and impartial trial. Every accused person is innocent until a court of law proves them guilty, and the right to a fair trial is a universally recognized human right that every country should respect. This right is firmly entrenched in the U.S constitution in the Sixth Amendment. Learn about your fundamental right to a fair and impartial trial if the police arrest you for a crime and why you should hire a Sean Fagan Criminal Defence Lawyer.
The Sixth Amendment
The Sixth Amendment guarantees your rights as a defendant. These rights include several things, such as the right to:
- A speedy public trial ensures you don’t spend time behind bars waiting for a trial
- A lawyer, who could be an independent lawyer or a public defender
- To know your accusers: You must know who is accusing you and why
- An unbiased jury that will not take sides
- Nature of your charges and the evidence against you
The Sixth Amendment guarantees a fair trial and protects you from rights violations by those in positions of authority. The amendment is essential in ensuring every accused person has access to an attorney. The Miranda Rights stated to an accused person embody this right: you have a right to an attorney. It continues that if you cannot afford one, the state will provide you with one.
The Right to an Impartial Jury
As a defendant, you hold the right to a trial with an impartial or unbiased jury. The jury’s job is to decide your guilt based on hard facts and evidence, not preconceived notions surrounding your identity. These evidence-based decisions mean the jury must be free of any prejudices and can come to an impartial judgment. Voir dire is a process that selects a fair and impartial jury. Lawyers from both parties question the jury panel. This process helps the lawyers decide who to pick and unveil any biases or conflicts of interest the jury might have.
The Sixth Amendment defends the right to an impartial jury and applies to the state and federal governments. The Due Process Clause in the Fifth Amendment and the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment also protect this right by establishing that if a state provides juries, they must maintain impartiality.
Some challenge that cause a jury’s impartiality is access to information technology. The jurors can search for the defendant’s information online and on their social media accounts. This information can impact the jurors ‘decision based on what they find online.
The Right to a Fair Trial
The right to a fair trial enforces the proper administration of justice in a democratic government. Every accused person gets their day in court through this process. It also bars the government from violating the accused’s rights without due process of the law. Denial of due process of the law happens when a lack of fairness impacts the trial. An example is when an accused person appears in court dressed in prison clothes, damaging their presumption of innocence in the jurors’ eyes.
The Role of the Defense Attorney
When accused of a crime, your criminal defense attorney plays a significant role in safeguarding your rights, such as:
- The Right to Information: You need access to information and knowledge, such as the right to remain silent, the right to inform someone of your predicament when arrested, the right to medical care, the right to legal counsel, and the right to avoid self-incrimination.
- Your right to tell your side: Everybody has a right to tell their side of the story and call up witnesses.
- Protecting your right to being considered innocent till proven guilty
- Protecting your right to a reasonable time for preparing for the hearing. The lawyer also ensures the court hears and concludes your case without delays.
- When choosing jurors, your attorney can refuse jurors with biased views.
A defense attorney should always be in your corner, protecting your interests. Your attorney ensures you get a fair and impartial hearing in line with the constitution. Being an accused person does not make you guilty, and you have a right to the presumption of innocence till proven guilty. By hiring a defense attorney immediately after your arrest, you can be certain that your rights are protected from the time you get arrested until the end of a trial or through negotiations.