Does a Criminal Defendant Have Rights in Texas?

man in handcuffs at table with man in suit

When arrested, you may believe you have to relinquish your constitutional rights. While your freedoms may be limited, there are specific laws in place that protect the rights of those who are facing a criminal trial. Understanding these rights is crucial for any criminal defendant, as they can help you protect yourself. Keep reading to learn about your Constitutional rights and discover how Houston criminal defense attorneys can help you navigate this process.

What Rights Does a Criminal Defendant Have?

Under the United States Constitution, those facing criminal charges are guaranteed certain rights, including the following:

  • Protection from unlawful search and seizure: Under the Fourth Amendment, law enforcement cannot search your property without a warrant, probable cause, or consent. If none of these elements are present and evidence is collected, you may file to suppress this evidence as its collection violated your rights.
  • Right to remain silent: Perhaps one of the most crucial rights, an officer should read you your Miranda Rights when arrested, which includes your right to remain silent. It’s essential to understand that when you are arrested, you do not have to speak with the police, as this protects you from incriminating yourself, as anything you say to an officer can and will be held against you in a court of law.
  • No cruel or unusual punishment: Even though you are detained as a criminal, you still have basic human rights. This means the state cannot subject you to torturous or degrading punishments, regardless of the crime you are accused or convicted of committing.

Also essential are the rights protected under the Sixth Amendment, which guarantees your right to representation, speedy trial, public jury, and confronting a witness. The right to representation ensures that you can hire an attorney, and if you cannot afford one, the court will appoint a public defender to represent you. However, it’s vital that you enlist the help of an experienced criminal attorney.

What Should I Do if My Rights Are Violated?

When taken into custody, the most important thing you must do is remain silent and ask for an experienced criminal attorney from the Gonzalez Law Group. Our dedicated legal team will work tirelessly to protect you during the legal process.

If you experience a violation of your Constitutional rights in any capacity, you’ll want to inform your attorney as soon as possible. In some instances, such as evidence collected during an illegal search and seizure, they may be able to have the evidence suppressed, which could lead to the dismissal of your charges.

When you need help, our criminal defense team is here to help. Contact the Gonzalez Law Group as soon as possible to learn more about how we can help you navigate these situations.