If you’ve been charged with a federal crime, your case will be heard in federal court. This can be even more frightening than having a criminal case heard in state court since federal penalties tend to be much more severe than state penalties. You may have many questions regarding your federal court rights. To help put your mind at ease—and to ensure the best outcome to your charges—it is imperative that you have a highly knowledgeable Idaho criminal defense attorney who is skilled in handling federal charges.
Attorney John Cutler is passionate about providing every single client with a strong defense that fully protects their constitutional rights. John is licensed to practice in both state and federal courts throughout the state of Idaho, including the Federal District Court for the State of Idaho. Whether you are being charged with a state or federal criminal offense, the Cutler Law Office, P.A. can help.
Who are the Participants in the Federal Process?
There are a number of participants in the federal court process that you could encounter, including:
- A Federal Judge or Federal Magistrate Judge
- The United States Attorney and Assistant United States Attorney
- Federal law enforcement officers
- U.S. Marshalls
- Defendant (you)
What are my Federal Court Rights?
Whether you are in state or federal court, you have the following rights when you have been charged with a criminal offense:
- When you are arrested, you have the right to remain silent so you can avoid self-incrimination. The Fifth Amendment states that no defendant can be compelled to be a witness against himself. You should immediately ask for an attorney and refuse to answer any questions (other than providing your name and address) until you have spoken to an attorney.
- You have the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures pursuant to the Fourth Amendment.
- You have the right to confront your accuser under the Sixth Amendment, meaning you—or your attorney, in most cases—has the right to question your accuser and any witnesses for the accuser. In other words, anyone testifying against you must come to court and be questioned, rather than proving your guilt through written hearsay statements.
- You have the right to compel witnesses to come to court and testify in your criminal trial using the court’s subpoena powers.
- The Sixth Amendment gives you the right to a speedy trial without specifying the exact length of time that is considered “speedy.” Both the Idaho state courts and the federal courts have specific laws governing whether the speedy trial right has been violated.
- You have the right to a public trial in any criminal case, whether state or federal. This means that your family members or friends can attend the trial as a support system for you. In rare instances—usually, only in cases that involve children—the court could be closed to the public.
- The Sixth Amendment also provides you with the right to a jury trial, usually a 12-person jury “of your peers,” but potentially six jurors in some states and depending on whether the charge is a misdemeanor or a felony charge.
- You have the right to legal representation for any criminal prosecution; if you cannot afford an attorney, you have the right to have an attorney appointed for you by the judge. Whether you have a court-appointed attorney or you have hired your own criminal defense attorney, you are entitled to have an attorney who provides adequate representation. You do not get to choose who your court-appointed attorney is, but if you retain your own criminal defense attorney you can research the best attorney to fit your case and needs.
- You cannot be tried for the same crime twice—you have the right not to be placed in Double Jeopardy under the Fifth Amendment.
You also have all these constitutional rights in state criminal defense proceedings and in some circumstances, the State Constitution affords more board protections.
Contact Federal Criminal Defense Attorney John Cutler
Whether you are in Idaho Falls, Blackfoot, Rigby, St. Anthony, Rexburg, Driggs, Arco, Victor, or Island Park, you could benefit from the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney who is also highly skilled in federal and state criminal court cases. When you contact the Cutler Law Office, P.A., attorney John Cutler will aggressively defend against your criminal charges, ensuring you receive a fair trial and the best outcome possible.