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Know your rights as you prepare for a trial on criminal charges

On Behalf of | Feb 25, 2022 | Uncategorized |

Not every criminal case goes to trial in Mississippi. In fact, most criminal cases are either dismissed or are resolved through plea agreements. But, if you are prepared to fight the charges you face, a trial may be inevitable. If so, you need to know your rights as you prepare.

Your case, your rights

For starters, every criminal defendant has the right to counsel. This means you have the right to have an attorney by your side to help you present your case. This is especially important in a criminal trial, in which there are all kinds of specific procedures and processes that must be followed. And, of course, a persuasive attorney is crucial to attempt to get that all-important “not guilty” verdict.

Criminal defendants also have the right against self-incrimination. This means that you cannot be compelled to testify in your case – ever. Defendants have the right to stay silent, with all of the burden on the prosecution to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, each element of the crime charged.

And, of course, you have the right to have your trial take place in front of a “jury of peers.” This means you don’t have to go to trial in front of just a judge – commonly known as a “bench trial.” A jury trial includes a panel of people from the area where you face criminal charges, and they are the ones who ultimately make a factual finding as to whether or not you are guilty of the criminal charges in the case.