Every United States citizen is guaranteed certain rights and privileges under the fifth and sixth amendments to the constitution. When you are facing the possibility of questioning and/or arrest, these rights suddenly take on an immediate importance! Along with the experienced counsel of a Clark County legal expert, your own knowledge of your fifth and sixth amendment rights, as stated in the Miranda warning, is one of your most important defensive weapons.
Fifth Amendment Rights
The fifth amendment promises every citizen the right to a jury trial and due process, protection against double jeopardy (being tried for the same charge twice), and just compensation for property taken for public use. Most importantly for someone facing arrest, this amendment states that no citizen can be “compelled” to testify against himself. This protection eliminates the use of force to get a confession, and also ensures that outside evidence must be presented in order to convict someone of a crime. In 1966, the Supreme Court decided that the best way to practically implement this right is to require that every arrested individual be specifically told that he or she may refuse to speak, and that any statements made can be used as evidence in court. A defense attorney can advise you on what questions you should answer and when you should “invoke the fifth amendment” and refuse to answer.
In addition to setting the general rules for a jury trial, the sixth amendment specifies that any citizen charged with a crime has the right to “the Assistance of Counsel.” This right, also included in the Miranda warning, allows anyone under arrest to be guided through the legal process by an attorney. All attorneys are not equally capable, however, and frequently the free lawyers appointed by the court and Clark County discount lawyers do not have the time and experience needed to mount an effective defense. Your best choice is to exercise your sixth amendment rights as soon and as fully as possible by hiring a defense lawyer with a record of success as soon as legal trouble presents itself.
As a U.S. citizen, you have access to valuable rights that are designed to protect you against unjust or excessive punishment under the law. In order to make full use of those rights, you will need the services of an attorney who can tell you exactly what to say and what not to say.