Quite often, legal terms such as “the right to a fair trial” and “innocent until proven guilty” are uttered without explanation as to what they mean. Such terms are not simply made up or used because they sound good, they are enshrined in the Constitutional of the United States.
The right to a fair trial is outlined in the Sixth Amendment and this has serious implications for those who have been accused of criminal offenses. Those who find themselves fighting charges are protected by four key elements.
The right to legal counsel
Anyone accused of criminal offenses does not have to face the charges on their own. They are entitled to build a defense from the very beginning with an appropriate support network around them.
The right to an impartial jury
At the heart of the Sixth Amendment is the right to an impartial jury. In fact, the wording of the law refers to a “jury trial” rather than explicitly stating a “fair trial”. Essentially, a jury should remain impartial by not reaching any conclusions before all evidence has been heard, including the case of the defense.
The right to call witnesses
At some point during the trial, the accused will have the opportunity to cross-examine any witnesses that the prosecution brings. At the same time, witnesses may play a key role in the case of the defense, so they can also be brought before the criminal courts.
The right to due process
If the accused is not afforded due process throughout proceedings, then the law and guaranteed rights under the U.S. Constitution are taken into disrepute. Due process means that those accused should be protected from persecution, discrimination, and any other prejudicial behavior that could impact the final decision of the jury or courts.
Protecting your fundamental rights is vital if you are facing criminal charges. It is also in your best interests to gain an understanding of the legal protections you have in the state of Arkansas.