If you have been accused of Drunk Driving, when you enter a plea to the charges of DUI you will also need to sign an acknowledgement of rights. If you have retained an attorney, you DUI lawyer may be able to file a document with the Court stating that he has explained your rights to you. Those rights come from a combination of the federal constitution, the state constitution, and Montana law.
Although it isn’t an exhaustive list of every right you enjoy as someone accused of a crime in the U.S., it is a pretty good outline of the major ones. For example, as I have talked about numerous times before, the prosecution must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. YOU ARE PRESUMED TO BE INNOCENT. Too often we just pay that phrase lip service and forget what it really means. But it is the cornerstone of our justice system and something everyone needs to be reminded of.
You also have to the right to appear before a judge or magistrate.
You have the right to remain silent and refuse to testify during any stage of the proceedings. Your silence does nto imply any wrongdoing on your part and cannot be used against you.
You have the right to enter a plea of not guilty and to have a trial by a judge or a jury.
You have the right to a speedy and public trial within six months of your entry of a not guilty plea.
You have the right to confront witnesses called to testify against you,a nd to cross examine those witnesses.
You have the right to present evidence in your defense at trial and to comel the attendance of witnesses with subpoenas issued by the Court.
You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford one, you may ask the Court to appoint one for you. A public defender will be appointed if you qualify financially.
The problem with rights are that they need to be protected. Vigilantly. Or else people tend to walk all over them. One of my most important jobs as a DUI defense attorney is to know all the rights my clients have, and be on the constant lookout for anyone trying to violate them.
If you are unsure what rights you have in a DUI case, please call me today to schedule a free meeting to discuss your situation. My number is 406-752-6373 and I am always happy to discuss my favorite topic: protecting the rights of those accused of a crime.