Know Your Rights

Being accused of a crime can be a frightening experience, especially so when the crime you’re charged with committing is a sex crime. A conviction of sexual assault, rape, sexual abuse, or other sex crimes can drastically reduce your ability to get a job, pursue higher education, and even live the life you want to live. Quite simply, a sex crime conviction can undo the years of hard work you’ve put into getting where you want to be in life.

The Massachusetts sex crime lawyers of the law office of James Powderly can help. A sex crime is a serious accusation which requires a serious defense. Your life and your future hang in the balance. If you’re afraid of what a conviction could mean for you and your family, call James Powderly at 508-343-0676 today.

What Are My Rights?

Because of the seriousness of the charges, it’s important for every American to know the rights guaranteed them under the Constitution. These rights are known as the rights of the accused, and apply to anyone accused of a crime, from their arrest all the way to their trial. They are based on the core belief that a person is innocent until proven guilty. The rights of the accused are guaranteed by the Bill of Rights in the US Constitution, and include:

  • The right to due process under the law. This means that the government and the courts must respect all of your legal rights at all points.
  • The protection from illegal searches and seizure. Police must obtain a warrant to search your home and remove items they find there. You are entitled to a reasonable degree of privacy.
  • The right to indictment by a grand jury.
  • The protection from double jeopardy. You cannot be tried twice for the same crime.
  • The protection from self-incrimination. You do not have to bear witness against yourself.
  • The right to a fair and speedy trial.
  • The right to a trial by jury.
  • The right to counsel. You have the right to legal representation. Even if you cannot afford to hire an attorney, a public defender will be assigned to you to help represent you in court.

Your Miranda Rights

The rights guaranteed to you by the US Constitution must be explained to you at the time of your arrest. These rights are called your Miranda rights, and an arresting officer is required to list them to you. They are:

  • The right to remain silent. The things you say to police officers can be used as evidence against you, so the freedom to refrain from speaking protects you from bearing witness against yourself.
  • The right to an attorney. It is vital for your legal defense that a lawyer represent you in court. You are also allowed to have an attorney present at the time of your questioning.
  • The officer will then ask you if you understand your rights as they have been explained to you. For the Miranda rights to be helpful and legal, you must know what they mean. Many jurisdictions require an answer of yes before proceeding.

Contact James Powderly

If would like to talk to a lawyer about your rights and your defense, contact Massachusetts sex crimes attorney James Powderly by calling 508-343-0676.


Interview with a Former DUI Client