Freedom Bail Bonds Are No Guarantee of Perpetual Freedom. Mind What You Say Outside of Court
While jury trials are ensured by the Constitution, there are many cases in which a trial is conducted with no jury. First, individuals accused of offenses can waive their right to a jury trial, possibly considering that a judge will probably be more comprehension of the scenario. Moreover, the Court has ruled that “serious offenses” are simply the ones that carry a potential punishment of at least a $500 fine or six months in jail (see Blanton v. North Las Vegas (1989)).
Along with the promise of a jury trial, the Fifth Amendment states that no person “shall be compelled in a criminal case to be a witness against himself.” The accused, nevertheless, cannot just prevent testifying due to possible humiliation. Instead, they need to have a valid worry that their testimony will promote their conviction of a crime. Men accused of offenses or witnesses in legal proceedings will most likely invoke this right by “pleading the Fifth” or by “claiming their Fifth Amendment rights.”
Most Americans (at least those that have viewed any “policeman” shows), understand that when someone is detained, they have to be “read their rights.” The “reading of rights” to an accused person is frequently called the “Miranda warning.” (The caution is named after someone who maintained that he wasn’t conscious of his Fifth Amendment rights when he admitted to a crime promptly after being detained.) In Miranda v. Arizona, the Supreme Court reasoned:
The Fifth Amendment privilege is really essential to our system of constitutional rule as well as the expedient of giving an adequate warning regarding the access to the privilege so simple, we WOn’t pause to inquire in individual cases whether the defendant was conscious of his rights with no warning being given. Evaluations of the knowledge the defendant possessed, based on advice concerning his age, instruction, intellect, or prior contact with authorities, can never be more than conjecture; a warning is a clearcut fact. More significant, regardless of what the history of the person interrogated, a warning at that time of the interrogation is indispensable to overcome its pressures and to ensure the individual understands he’s free to exercise the privilege at that point in time.
In most cases, a prosecutor or investigator would rather hear what an person must say than effort to prosecute them based on their testimony. In such instances, people could possibly be granted exemption in exchange for supplying advice about a crime. By way of example, in the investigation of President Clinton’s relationship with Monica Lewinsky, Lewinsky was granted immunity in exchange for her testimony about her relationship with Clinton. Prosecutors typically allow exemption to individuals suspected of committing lesser offenses if their testimonies might help convict a more leading defendant of a more serious offense.
Men accused of crimes are additionally shielded from what’s called “double jeopardy.” In the words of the Fifth Amendment, no person shall “be subject for the exact same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.” In case the outcome of a jury trial is an acquittal (the jury finds the defendant “not guilty”), there can be no additional legal action taken against the defendant for this offense. One exception to this rule happens when a defendant challenges his or her guilty conviction and is allowed a fresh trial (usually due to some procedural mistake in the first trial). In this instance, the “danger” presented by the very first trial is removed as well as a new trial may be convened, placing the defendant in danger as if for the very first time for the alleged offense.