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The Federal Constitution protects the rights of a criminal defendant. However, Arizona's Constitution also offers numerous protections. It is important that you know your rights and that you assert your rights. Below are some of the more important rights that Article II, Sections 4-30, of the Arizona Constitution, provides for every person arrested in Arizona.
4. Due process of law
Section 4. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.
8. Right to privacy
Section 8. No person shall be disturbed in his private affairs, or his home invaded, without authority of law.
10. Self-incrimination; double jeopardy
Section 10. No person shall be compelled in any criminal case to give evidence against himself, or be twice put in jeopardy for the same offense.
11. Administration of justice
Section 11. Justice in all cases shall be administered openly, and without unnecessary delay.
14. Habeas corpus
Section 14. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended by the authorities of the state.
15. Excessive bail; cruel and unusual punishment
Section 15. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted.
18. Imprisonment for debt
Section 18. There shall be no imprisonment for debt, except in cases of fraud.
22. Bailable offenses
Section 22. A. All persons charged with crime shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, except:
1. For capital offenses, sexual assault, sexual conduct with a minor under fifteen years of age or molestation of a child under fifteen years of age when the proof is evident or the presumption great.
2. For felony offenses committed when the person charged is already admitted to bail on a separate felony charge and where the proof is evident or the presumption great as to the present charge.
3. For felony offenses if the person charged poses a substantial danger to any other person or the community, if no conditions of release which may be imposed will reasonably assure the safety of the other person or the community and if the proof is evident or the presumption great as to the present charge.
4. For serious felony offenses as prescribed by the legislature if the person charged has entered or remained in the United States illegally and if the proof is evident or the presumption great as to the present charge.
B. The purposes of bail and any conditions of release that are set by a judicial officer include:
1. Assuring the appearance of the accused.
2. Protecting against the intimidation of witnesses.
3. Protecting the safety of the victim, any other person or the community.
23. Trial by jury; number of jurors specified by law
Section 23. The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate. Juries in criminal cases in which a sentence of death or imprisonment for thirty years or more is authorized by law shall consist of twelve persons. In all criminal cases the unanimous consent of the jurors shall be necessary to render a verdict. In all other cases, the number of jurors, not less than six, and the number required to render a verdict, shall be specified by law.
24. Rights of accused in criminal prosecutions
Section 24. In criminal prosecutions, the accused shall have the right to appear and defend in person, and by counsel, to demand the nature and cause of the accusation against him, to have a copy thereof, to testify in his own behalf, to meet the witnesses against him face to face, to have compulsory process to compel the attendance of witnesses in his own behalf, to have a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the county in which the offense is alleged to have been committed, and the right to appeal in all cases; and in no instance shall any accused person before final judgment be compelled to advance money or fees to secure the rights herein guaranteed.
25. Bills of attainder; ex post facto laws; impairment of contract obligations
Section 25. No bill of attainder, ex-post-facto law, or law impairing the obligation of a contract, shall ever be enacted.
30. Indictment or information; preliminary examination
Section 30. No person shall be prosecuted criminally in any court of record for felony or misdemeanor, otherwise than by information or indictment; no person shall be prosecuted for felony by information without having had a preliminary examination before a magistrate or having waived such preliminary examination.
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Robert J. Campos, Criminal Law Specialist