Being arrested and/or charged with a criminal offense is, without a doubt, one of the most difficult experiences life has to offer. Events rife with emotional turbulence that at times may seem thinly separated from sheer chaos, these experiences can deeply affect the lives of defendants and their loved ones. As visceral and overwhelming as an arrest, indictment, or arraignment can be, taking the time to understand your rights and the ways in which you can assert them can make all the difference in the eventual outcome of your case. As this is no simple feat during difficult times, our firm’s San Francisco criminal defense attorneys extend our immediate services and support to anyone who may be confronted with the harsh and unfamiliar realities of the American criminal justice system.
If you or a loved one currently stands accused of any criminal offense, it is of vital importance that you understand your rights as a defendant and how you can exercise these rights so as to preserve the strength of your defense. Some of the most important legal rights you should be aware of in the immediate aftermath of an arrest include the following:
Due process is a legal concept that defines the obligations of our society and legal system to respect all of the legal rights you possess. It is, essentially, the principle that guarantees your right to legal fairness. This means that as devastating and intimidating as an arrest may seem, you will be given the opportunity to present your side of the story. The fact that no government or body of law can deprive you of “life, liberty, or property without due process of law,” should help you and your loved ones gain a sense of confidence knowing that no matter how difficult these experiences are, you will have the time, opportunity, and right to defend yourself.
When it comes to strengthening your chances of obtaining a positive resolution, taking full advantage of your right to due process is crucial. These various rights are all linked to the procedures the government takes when prosecuting you for a criminal offense. At its core, due process means that if you face criminal charges and penalties, you must be notified of the charges against you and given a chance to comment on the action. This, of course, can be considered your right to trial by jury. In addition to being informed of your charges and given the opportunity to be heard, due process also provides you with the right to representation by an attorney and the right to present evidence and call witnesses on your behalf, among others.
It is important to note that simply because you are provided these rights, you are not obligated to assert any or all of them. In many cases, these rights provide you with legal options that you can choose to exercise according to your unique circumstances. Although the right to trial can be a powerful legal tool, for example, it may not always prove a viable option in comparison to plea agreements or alternative sentencing options.
Being aware that you do have legal options should make you feel empowered knowing that you can take a course of action that fits your unique situation, needs, and goals. By retaining the assistance of the proven attorneys from Okabe & Haushalter, you can be confident that our experience and insight can be used to your advantage. When working on your case, our attorneys can vet all of your available legal options, determine the path that can provide you with the best results, and commit to aggressively defending you against the charges and penalties you face.
Although our attorneys have made the effort to compile and list these essential rights, there is simply no substitute for having an experienced legal mind in your corner. Poised and prepared to address matters as promptly as they arise, our firm is here to protect your rights, your freedom, and your future. We encourage anyone interested in learning more about their rights and legal options to take immediate action and contact Okabe & Haushalter today.