Constitutional Rights

Sixth Amendment

The Sixth Amendment guarantees the rights of criminal defendants, including the right to a public trial without unnecessary delay, the right to a lawyer, the right to an impartial jury, and the right to know who your accusers are and the nature of the charges and evidence against you. It has been most visibly tested in a series of cases involving terrorism, but much more often figures in cases that involve (for example) jury selection or the protection of witnesses, including victims of sex crimes as well as witnesses in need of protection from retaliation.


Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.


Rights under the Fourteenth Amendment

The Fourteenth Amendment requires states to:

provide due process of law in all actions including criminal laws.

Due process at its most elementary level includes the right to be heard. In other words, the accused has a right to: 

A trial. 

put up evidence. 

cross-examine witnesses against them.

testify if he or she chooses. 

make people come to court by issuing a subpoena, etc. 

give equal protection to all citizens.

Equal protection must be given to all people. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that governments treat people equally. States cannot treat individuals different because of a factor like race, sex, or age. For example, a prison sentence for the same crime cannot be different solely because of a person's race.


Rights under the Fifth Amendment

The Fifth Amendment:

requires a pretrial hearing by a grand jury in felony cases.

outlaws a second trial for the same crime (double jeopardy).

This means that a person who is acquitted of a crime after a trial cannot be prosecuted a second time.

protects suspects from having to answer questions which could be used against them.

A suspect never has to talk about a crime if it will expose the suspect to criminal prosecution.

guarantees fair proceedings when people are threatened by a loss of life, liberty, or property by the government. 

ensures compensation for people whose property is taken by the government.


Rights under the Fourth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment:

protects people from unreasonable police searches and seizures.

sets requirements for search warrants.


Rights under the Sixth Amendment

The Sixth Amendment guarantees an accused person the right:

to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury.

to be informed of the charges and evidence.

for them or their attorney to be present when witnesses testify against them.

to have a lawyer and call witnesses in defense.


Rights under the Eighth Amendment

The Eighth Amendment:

Requires judges to set reasonable and consistent bail.

Requires judges to make the sentence fit the crime.

Bans cruel and unusual punishment by government actors.

Contact An Experienced Immigration Lawyer Today

The Law Offices of Vivian N. Szawarc represents clients who have immigrated to the United States from all over the world, and our goal is to keep your life running smoothly for as long as you would like to remain in this country. Call us or fill out our online contact form.