Your Constitutional Rights as an Oklahoma Criminal Defendant

Tracy Tiernan - July 7, 2020 - Criminal Defense

If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Oklahoma, you likely feel uncertain about what the future holds. Remember, during this challenging time, you have rights that are protected by the United States Constitution. A skilled attorney can make sure that these rights are fully protected. 

While the Constitution might be a federal document, the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment makes these protections also apply to state-based criminal offenses. This article reviews some of the most essential Constitutional protections you have so if necessary you can discuss any potential violations with your attorney.

The Right to Confront Witnesses

People in Oklahoma facing criminal charges have the right to question the state’s witnesses. Coming from the Sixth Amendment’s Confrontation Clause, this right prevents the prosecution from admitting witness statements into evidence without performing their own questioning first.

The Protection Against Cruel and Unusual Punishment

The Eighth Amendment’s protection against cruel and unusual punishment protects people from unduly long prison sentences as well as various types of unfit living conditions during their imprisonment. 

Double Jeopardy Protections

The Constitution’s Fifth Amendment protects individuals against being prosecuted twice or more for the same criminal offense. This means that if a person is acquitted before or during a trial or if a case goes verdict, an individual cannot lawfully be prosecuted again for the same criminal offense.

Due Process Right

The Fifth Amendment’s right to due process is a critical right granted to people who are charged with criminal offenses. This right guarantees several different protections, and establishing that due process rights were violated can serve as the basis for a strong defense.

Ex Post Facto Law Protection

The Constitution protects against ex post facto laws. This means that prosecutors can not charge a person under laws that were not recognized as laws at the time of the person’s arrest. 

The Right to Representation

The Sixth Amendment of the Constitution grants people charged with criminal offenses the right to the “assistance of counsel.” An individual is entitled to representation at all parts of a criminal trial, which includes when facing charges. Due to this right, you should not hesitate to obtain an experienced criminal defense attorney if you are facing charges.

Protection Against Self Incrimination

Referred to by some as the right to remain silent, this right is granted by the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment. Under this right, law enforcement cannot compel a person to make self-incriminating statements that can be used against them in court. Also under this right, law enforcement must inform a person of their right to remain silent before entering into a custodial interrogation.

Speak with an Experienced Oklahoma Criminal Defense Attorney

To protect your constitutional rights during a criminal case, it is critical to retain the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. To schedule a free case review and discuss your situation with Tracy Tiernan, contact us oday online or by calling 918-218-2726.