Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Ithaca Lawyer Understanding YOUR DWI Sixth Amendment Rights are Meaty

Your New York Fair Trial Rights, A Meaty Amendment

People love throwing around the Bill of Rights, and the amendments to the Constitution piecemeal. As if each amendment equals one right you have.

In truth the Sixth Amendment is a "meaty" amendment. It has a lot going on and gives you your "Fair Trial Rights." It may be one amendment but it is packed with entitlements and protections.

First some clarification, The First Ten Amendments = Your Bill of Rights.
The Sixth Amendment is specifically related to your Rights Involving Criminal Process against YOU.
These are the protections afforded us against the government. They were fought for long and hard by our forefathers (and mothers).

DWI cases are defended and fought based upon the 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendments.
The Sixth Amendment has these 7 parts:

1. Right to a Speedy Trial
There is a time table. They can't take forever to prosecute you.

2. Right to a Public Trial
You have a right to have everyone know how you have been treated (fairly or unfairly). No secrets, total transparency.

3. Right to an Impartial Jury
You are entitled to pick a jury. Sometimes this is more like a de-select a jury.

4. Right to Confront Witnesses (this is also called the "Confrontation Clause")
You have a right to question those accusing you of criminal behavior. To bring to light their biases, their prejudices, and to challenge their opinions. In a DWI case these are usually police witnesses.

5. Right to Compel the Court to Subpoena Witnesses
You have the right to make people come to Court.

6. Right to an Attorney (counsel)
You have a right to be assisted by an attorney at every step/stage in the process.

7. Right to Information and Notice of what the charges are and what proof they plan to use
You have a right to know what you are charged with, how they plan on proving these charges against you, and what specific statements they plan on using against you

Every person accused of a DWI has these Basic Constitutional Rights. Their attorney is there to assist them, assure them, and use them to protect their interests at every stage of the process. None of this should be taken lightly.

Larry Newman, D.C., J.D.