Does a criminal defendant have rights in New Jersey?

court judge criminal defendant

When you are detained or arrested for committing a crime, it is crucial to understand your basic constitutional rights. This will ensure your rights are not violated by the authorities. Despite having committed a crime, you are still guaranteed certain rights. Many make the mistake of believing all of their rights have been stripped from them. However, regardless of the crime committed, all persons are protected by certain rights under the U.S. Constitution. To legally protect yourself, it is imperative to understand your rights when facing a criminal trial. Keep reading to learn what rights criminal defendants are afforded and how a skilled Monmouth County Criminal Defense Attorney can help defend your rights. 

What rights do criminal defendants have in New Jersey?

Under the United States Constitution, criminal defendants are guaranteed certain rights. Those rights include but are not limited to the following:

  • Fourth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects criminal defendants from unreasonable searches and seizures. To search your property or seize your belongings, law enforcement officers must have probable cause or a search warrant. Understanding this right is crucial as any evidence obtained illegally cannot be used against you in a court of law. If you believe your rights have been violated, it is important to inform your attorney as they can file a motion to suppress certain evidence which in some cases can lead to reduced or dismissed charges.
  • Fifth Amendment. The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects criminal defendants from accidentally incriminating themselves. When detained or arrested, you have the right to remain silent as anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. This is one of the most important rights to know. It is in your best interests to remain silent until you consult with your legal counsel.
  • Sixth Amendment. The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives all persons the right to adequate legal representation. If you cannot afford an attorney, the court will appoint one for you. However, when arrested, it is in your best interest to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. In addition to having legal representation when being questioned by the police, you have the right to a speedy and public trial, as well as the right to a public jury and the right to confront witnesses. During a criminal trial, you have the right to defend yourself against the accuser and witnesses’ testimony.
  • Eighth Amendment. The Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects you from unreasonable bail as well as cruel and unusual punishments. Regardless of the severity of your crime, you still are guaranteed basic human rights that protect you from cruel and unusual treatment.

It is paramount to understand your basic rights to ensure they are not violated at any point. For more information on what rights criminal defendants are guaranteed when facing a criminal trial, please contact a trusted Monmouth County criminal defense attorney. Our firm is committed to helping our clients protect their rights and interests.