When the police arrest an individual, it does not necessarily mean the individual is guilty or will be later determined to be guilty. A police officer must have probable cause to arrest. The accused, however, has a right to a trial of his or her case. The jury (or judge if a non-jury trial) ultimately determines guilt or innocence based upon the evidence presented before them. The prosecution has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecution does not produce sufficient evidence to convince the judge or jury of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the accused must be found not guilty.
Know Your Rights
The Constitutions of the United States and the State of Alabama give the accused many other rights, including:
- The right to remain silent. No person is required to say anything to anyone that would lead to guilt.
- The right to subpoena witnesses and have the Court make their attendance mandatory.
- The right to confront and cross-examine accusers.
- The right to testify, but only if they choose to do so.
- The accused also has a right to a reasonable bond. A preliminary hearing may also be demanded to determine whether there is sufficient probable cause for the case to go forward.
- The accused has the right to an arraignment where they can be formally apprised of their charges. Legal pleadings may also be filed for the accused to keep out illegal evidence in the trial of his or her case.
You Can Appeal a Criminal Case
The law also allows a limited time to appeal cases from municipal courts and district courts to have a trial by jury in circuit court where the case is to be tried anew. Appeals may also be filed from circuit court to the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals and to to the Alabama Supreme Court but such appeals are not retrials but a review of the record of the previous trial.
Hire a Criminal Lawyer
If you or someone you know has been accused of a crime it is important to have a qualified lawyer to guide you through the legal process and explain the rights to which you are entitled by law.
Burns Garner Law Firm handles cases involving felonies, misdemeanors, probation revocation and appeals in both city courts and county courts throughout Northern Alabama. Contact Burns Garner Law firm today to discuss your pending criminal case or investigation.