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Criminal charges, the Sixth Amendment and your rights

Once charges are pressed against you in a criminal matter, you might want to get the case handled as quickly as possible. In some cases, you might be in for a bit of a wait because your case might require a jury trial or you might want a jury trial. If that is what is going on in your case, you still have the right to a speedy trial with an impartial jury because of your Sixth Amendment rights.

Your right to a speedy trial doesn't necessarily mean that your trial will happen right away. Instead, it protects you from unnecessary delays during the process. While there isn't any set time limit for trials, there are certain guidelines that are in place that help to minimize the delays for the trial.

If your trial is delayed, there are several factors that are factored in to determine if the trial meets the requirements for a speedy trial. The reasons for the delays and the circumstances of the case are taken into account. If it is ultimately found that your Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial wasn't met, the charges against you can be dropped.

When you are counting on the right to a speedy trial, you are placing your case in the hands of a jury. This is another right that is guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment. You have the right to a jury trial. The jury must be comprised of a cross-section of the community.

It is vital for you to understand all the rights you have when facing the criminal justice system. Once you understand your rights, you can work to ensure they are protected.

Source: FindLaw, "Right to a Speedy Jury Trial," accessed July 23, 2015

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