A person accused of a crime in Minnesota faces several challenges. Fortunately, in the quest for justice, individuals have several rights on both the federal and state levels, established by lawmakers.
Information on the basic rights of the accused cover many important topics.
Pertinent Minnesota statutes
Information from the Minnesota Legislature enumerates many of the rights of the accused under state law. The majority of these rights fall under Chapter 611 of the Minnesota statutes and begin with a general presumption of innocence until proven guilty. Individuals accused of a crime also have a right to defense by a public defender under the following conditions:
- Financially unable to pay for counsel
- Charged with a felony, gross misdemeanor or misdemeanor
- A minor of ten years of age or older
A person charged with a crime can also decide to waive counsel. The defendant should put the waiver of counsel down in writing; if the defendant refuses to sign the waiver, then the court will record the refusal on a legal document.
The right to an interpreter
In cases where the accused does not speak English, the defendant has the right to an interpreter. State law implies that a person disabled in communication will not receive a fair trial unless a qualified interpreter can assist the defendant during the proceedings.
Separate areas of the Minnesota statutes cover the appointment procedures for interpreters. The purpose of interpreters centers on protecting the constitutional right to a fair trial. The above matters cover only some of the rights of the accused in the Minnesota court system.