Criminal defendants, just like any other person, have their rights. These rights begin the very moment a person is arrested for criminal charges to the time they appear in court for the hearing. It is during these stages that police officers make mistakes and violate your constitutional rights.
Everyone has freedom under the law to willingly attest, agree or disagree to a particular request or do something without being forced to do it. However, in law, one may be compelled to commit an act or do something without infringing on the person’s right.
The U.S. constitution’s fifth amendment protects a person from self-incrimination. The amendment states that no one “shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.” This means that a person has the right to remain silent during police interrogation. According to the courts, the right to remain silent was initiated to help a person avoid the “cruel trilemma” of contempt, perjury, and self-incrimination. This is because a person who is forced to answer questions during a police interrogation may choose to;
In criminal law, defendants can be pardoned if a jury establishes that their actions to commit a crime were driven by a threat of death or bodily injury or some reasonable fear that the threat will be carried out. This is called duress.