What are my rights when I'm facing a criminal charge?

If you are arrested and charged with a criminal charge in Kentucky, you have specific rights owed to you under the law. These rights cannot be taken away from you and are your rights regardless of what you are being accused of doing. They are what lie at the heart of our legal system. It is your responsibility, though, to know and understand your rights because they may not always be explained to you.

Starting at your arrest, you need to be aware of your rights. According to the Department of Public Advocacy, you have the right to be informed of the charges against you and your rights to remain silent and to an attorney. You do not have to answer any questions except to give law enforcement your name. There is no time limit in the state on how soon you must be arraigned after an arrest, but your bond must be set within 24 hours.

You must be indicted by the Grand Jury if you are facing a felony charge. You will be given chances to fight for a lower bond or to be released from incarceration at your hearings. You may also be offered a plea bargain, which is an offer from the prosecutor for a certain punishment in exchange for your guilty plea. You do not have to take this offer. You can go to trial.

At your trial, you have the right to ask for a jury or to have your case be heard by the judge. If you are convicted of the crime, you have the right to appeal the verdict. You can appeal on the grounds mistakes were made or if new evidence is found. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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