What Are my Rights in a Los Angeles Misdemeanor Criminal Case? (Part 4)

As discussed in this series of blogs, you have certain rights that are granted to you by the United States Constitution. One of these rights is the Right to Public Trial by Jury.

Anyone who has been arrested by police officers, is not convicted, they have only been charged. A criminal charge is very different from a conviction. A charge means that authorities have probable cause that you have committed the crime that they are charging you with. It does not mean that you have actually committed that crime. At the time you are charged, you are still innocent.

When you have been convicted then you have actually been found guilty. However, you cannot be convicted of a criminal offense unless you enter a plea of guilty, or have been found guilty by a court of law. In order to be found guilty by a court of law, you must be tried by a jury of your peers. This is an important right. You have the right to a public trial by jury.

During the trial process you have many rights that you can opt to exercise. One such right is the right to have an attorney present. As previously discussed you have the right to an attorney, and if you cannot afford a Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney, then you will be given a public defender at a cost that you can afford.

If you do not have an attorney at trial, and wish to have one, the Court will allow you the continuance to obtain one. You also always have the right to represent yourself.
At the trial, you have the right to confront and cross-examine the witness. This means that you can call any witness that you want to, to come testify. Once they are on the stand, you have the right to question them, and question them again after the Prosecutor has an opportunity to question them.

Along the same right, you have the right to subpoena witnesses. This is the process that summons witnesses to Court to testify . You also have the right to testify yourself, although this may not be a good strategy. In order to determine whether it is beneficial for you to testify at Court, you should consult with a legal professional. You also have the right to remain silent, that means you do not have to testify yourself. You can choose to refrain from testifying one way or another.

These are important rights and they are put into place to help protect citizens while they go through trial. It may be in your best interest to waive some rights, but it may be in your best interest to exercise your rights. Only a legal professional with extensive experience and knowledge can provide you with the advise you need.