When your freedom is in jeopardy, remember that you have rights!!!!!!!!
If you are accused of a crime, your freedom is at stake. Whether or not you are ultimately convicted, you will be subjected to loss of freedom from the moment you are arrested.
You have the right…
You have the right to have a lawyer with you when you are being questioned. Do not waive that right by speaking to the police or anyone other than an attorney.
If you cannot afford an attorney, you have the right to have a lawyer appointed to represent you.
You have the right to remain silent. The police will tell you this. It is good advice, even though the police would prefer that you waive this fundamental right. The police may tell you that waiving this right will look better to the court. NEVER make this decision without first seeking the advice of an attorney.
You have the right to be informed that anything you say may be used against you in court.
You have the right to be informed of the specific charges against you.
You have the right to telephone a lawyer, a friend or a family member to notify them of your arrest.
You have the right to have reasonable bail set in your case pending trial.
You have the right to a public trial so that the state cannot convict you in secrecy.
You have the right to a trial by a jury of your peers. The prosecutor also has the right to request a jury trial even if you do not want one. The jury will listen to all the evidence presented at trial and then decide whether or not the state has met its burden of proving the charges brought against you beyond a reasonable doubt. If a jury finds you guilty, you have the right to choose whether your punishment is decided by a judge or by a jury.
You have a constitutional right to a speedy trial.
You have a constitutional right to confront witnesses. This means that your attorney questions them under oath, so that the jury can consider and determine their credibility.
You have the right to have witnesses testify on your behalf.
You have the right to have every element of the alleged criminal offense against you proven beyond a reasonable doubt. This is the burden of proof that the prosecutor — the attorney who represents the state of Texas — has to fulfill to get you convicted.