With an ever increasing rate of both crimes and violent crimes in our country, there has been a groundswell of support for 'victim's rights' legislation. The perception that the legal system provides the accused with 'unreasonable' rights is as old as habeas corpus, itself. However, the burden of proof and the presumption of innocence are cornerstones of our society and were beliefs that the founding fathers held very dear within the context of colonial persecution and lack of due process.
In Florida, over 30,000 aggravated assault cases were reported for 2015 and over 5,000 of them were violent crimes using one's hands, fists or feet. As disparaging as the rise of violent criminal acts might be, so, too are the number of cases involving wrongfully accused and convicted individuals. In a society where the accused seems to be presumed guilty, even the laying of charges can be damaging to their reputation and stand in the way of gainful employment and supporting their family.
One of the most important rights any accused has is that of trial by a jury of one's peers. The interjection of regular citizens into the legal process acts to protect all Americans from a legal system that may contain prejudice or at times be overzealous in seeking a conviction. The impartiality of the jury system is every person's constitutional right.
The rights of those accused of violent crimes are the same rights that safeguard the freedom of all citizens from wrongful conviction. If you or someone you love has been accused of perpetrating a crime of violence such as rape, aggravated assault, robbery or is facing homicide charges, your first step should be to contact a lawyer who specializes in criminal defense.