Those accused of crimes in the United States have many legal rights. It may feel like the whole system is stacked against them, but the reality is that the American justice system was built specifically to ensure that people had rights that could not be taken away, no matter the allegations they faced.

Many of these rights were granted by the Sixth Amendment. They include the following:

The Right to an Impartial Jury

Gone are the days when one person could make a decision that changed the accused person's life forever. The accused has a right to have his or her trial go before an impartial jury who will weigh the evidence and facts of the case. That jury should not have any bias based on age, gender, race, national origin, sexual orientation or anything else.

The Right to a Speedy Trial

The justice system isn't exactly known for its speed. There are many legal steps and a lot of red tape, and everything does take time. However, this right ensures that someone can't be imprisoned indefinitely. If this was not the case, he or she could be held without trial for as long as the potential sentence, negating that person's rights and circumventing the system.

The Right to a Trial in that State

Crimes must be tried in the state where they happened. This is important because state laws can vary significantly. For instance, some states still have the death penalty, while many others have outlawed it.

The Right to Be Informed of the Accusations

The defendant must know what he or she is accused of doing. If there are witnesses against that person, he or she also has a right to confront them. Nothing is hidden.

Your Rights

It's absolutely critical that anyone accused of a crime knows his or her rights in advance. This can help define that person's legal defense options.

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