Legal Rights During A Trial Essay

993 words - 4 pages

What are my rights if I have to go to trial for a crime that I have been accused of committing? The accused have several legal rights during a trial. The purpose of these rights is to make sure that the accused receive a fair trial. A defendant’s legal rights during a trial include the following: the right to confront a witness, right to compulsory process, the right to counsel and the right to an impartial jury. The one aspect that these rights have in common is outlined in the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
According to authors Siegel and Worrall (2013), the right to confront a witness, is in alignment with the Sixth Amendment (p. 388). Defendants have the right to confront anyone that’s accusing them of any illegal or inappropriate behaviors that are a menace in a community. This applies to all defendants in both federal and state courts. Not only does the defendant have the right to confront a witness, put they are also allowed to be active participants in their trial. There is a confrontation clause that restricts and controls the level and mode of evidence. The overall purpose of this clause is to allow the defendant For instance, evidence given at preliminary hearing cannot be used if the witness is not present. However, if it can be proven that the defendant is responsible for the witness’ absence, than the prior testimony given could be used. A trial cannot be based on hearsay evidence. A consequence for not allowing a defendant to confront the witnesses is liable to cause a mistrial. The defendants’ rights have been violated and further action must be taken.
The right to compulsory process correlates to the right to confront a witness. This right is also in alignment with the Sixth Amendment. During this process, defendants have the right to subpoena witnesses to confront. A subpoena is an order to appear in court. Under this process a witness can not only be subpoenaed, but also a bench warrant can be issued. A bench warrant is a written command that gives a law enforcement agency permission to confiscate a witness and transport them to court. This is an indispensible component of the due process. According to the Missouri Bar (2006), both rights are used to assure that the defendant has a way to present favorable evidence (par. 11). All parties, except for the judges, can be required to support the defendant in locating witnesses.
According to the Sixth Amendment, the right to counsel is also an important right during a trial. The purpose of this right is to offer and allow the defendant to be represented. If the defendant cannot afford a lawyer, the government is required to appoint one. According to Reuters (2013), all accused suspects have the right to be counseled in every phase of the criminal process (par. 2). The counsels have many duties that they must perform. The defense counsel plays an advisory role by advising the defendant of available alternatives, which may include the plea bargain....

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