When you were younger and watching all those cool crime shows on TV, you probably got scared out of your mind that if you ever got arrested, your life would be over, as you know it, that there would be no getting out of jail, no repairing of broken relationships, and no one to be with you through the process. It’s not entirely false, but it’s also not entirely true.
Obviously, each defendant is going to have a different story, a different process, a different outcome. But at the same time, each defendant is going to have certain rights for protection.
1. The right to remain silent.
2. The right to an attorney.
3. The right to bail.
These three rights are for the defendant to utilize to their advantage. They don’t have to answer all questions. They can have a professional attorney advise and represent them. They can hire a bail bondsman to help them bail out of jail so they can return to live at home. These are only three rights that open more doors to better chances for the defendant, especially that third one, the right to bail. They can return to live at home, be surrounded by supportive friends and family members, return to work, and put on a good face in the midst of a struggle. This gives them the chance to fix their broken name and image and show to others that their arrest was one minor mistake that won’t happen again, one that they are going to handle with maturity and responsibility.
The Bill of Rights
The Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution in the form of amendments. The chief purpose of the amendments was to protect the rights of individuals from the government’s interference. They guarantee rights such as religious freedom, freedom of the press, and trial by jury to all American citizens.
- First Amendment: Freedom of religion, freedom of speech and the press, the right to assemble, the right to petition government.
- Second Amendment: The right to form a militia and to keep and bear arms.
- Third Amendment: The right not to have soldiers in one’s home.
- Fourth Amendment: Protection against unreasonable search and seizure.
- Fifth Amendment: No one can be tried for a serious crime unless indicted (accused) by a grand jury. No one can be forced to testify against herself or himself. No one can be punished without due process of law. People must be paid for property taken for public use.
- Sixth Amendment: People have a right to a speedy trial, to legal counsel, and to confront their accusers.
- Seventh Amendment: People have the right to a jury trial in civil suits exceeding $20.
- Eighth Amendment: Protection against excessive bail (money to release a person from jail), stiff fines, and cruel and unusual punishment.
- Ninth Amendment: Because there are so many basic human rights, not all of them could be listed in the Constitution. This amendment means that the rights that are enumerated cannot infringe upon rights that are not listed in the Constitution.
- Tenth Amendment: Powers not given to the federal government by the Constitution belong to the states or the people.