A defendant is the person charged with a crime by a prosecutor or grand jury. Until the time of charging, which marks the beginning of adversarial proceedings, he or she is known as a suspect. The rights of defendants are set forth in the Fifth and Six Amendments to the Constitution, although their origins exist in antiquity and English common law. The Fifth Amendment guarantees a defendant due process of law, freedom from self-incrimination, and protection against double jeopardy. The Sixth Amendment guarantees a fair, speedy, and public ...

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