accused, rights of the

In law, the rights and privileges of a person accused of a crime. In most modern legal systems these include the presumption of innocence until proved guilty, trial by jury, representation by counsel, the right to present witnesses and evidence to establish one's innocence, and the right to cross-examine one's accusers. Also important are a prohibition against an unreasonable search and seizure, the right to a speedy trial, and guarantees of freedom from double jeopardy and of the right to appeal. In the U.S. a person accused of a crime must be notified immediately of the right to secure counsel and the right to refuse to answer questions if answering might be incriminating (see Miranda v. Arizona).

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