If you are charged or arrested for a criminal act, do you know your rights? As a United States citizen and resident of Hawaii, your rights are guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the laws of your state.
Section 14 of the Constitution for the State of Hawaii spells out the Rights of the Accused. First, beyond your name, contact information and drivers license, you don't have to say anything or make any admissions to law enforcement.
You can remain silent and request an attorney to represent you before you make any statements that may hurt your defense later on. You should also know that you are entitled to:
- A speedy and public trial by an impartial jury in the location where you are accused of committing the crime, unless there are extenuating circumstances. You cannot be locked away until the court decides to get to your case.
- Know and understand the exact criminal charge that you are facing. How can you mount a defense unless you know what the actual charge is?
- Be notified of the witnesses testifying against you and have witnesses who will testify on your behalf. Don't underestimate the effect that eyewitnesses can have on a jury.
- The services of a defense attorney. If you can't afford the attorney's fee, the state will provide a lawyer if you are charged with a crime that could result in incarceration.
- A jury of 12 impartial people to hear testimony and render a decision if the criminal charge is serious.
Make sure that you know your rights and don't hesitate to contact an experienced Hawaii defense attorney to represent you. A criminal defense lawyer knows how to deal with law enforcement officers who are often anxious to close a case as soon as possible. Don't accept a rush to judgment. Call for help.