To most people, their constitutional rights are whatever they think they are, and they only apply to themselves. Fortunately, that’s not the way Constitutional rights work. Instead, we all enjoy the same rights to the same level. Oh, we can quibble about how money can get you more rights than others, but fundamentally and ideally, we all have the same constitutional rights.
But how we exercise those rights is very important. For example, the right to remain silent, believe it or not you can’t just stay silent to remain silent. The Supreme Court has ruled that you must affirmatively exercise this right by saying “I exercise my right to remain silent.”
Other rights throw wrenches in the system that make lots of people unhappy, but it doesn’t matter it’s your right. Things like the right to a speedy trial. Let’s suppose someone out of state files a criminal charge against you. Did you know that you have a 6th Amendment right to a speedy trial? It’s true, but you must continually demand a speedy trial, much like you must affirm your right to remain silent. But that means that the out of state person will have to show up in court when you get your trail date. Because that’s another 6th Amendment right, the right to face your accuser. So if this out of state person fails to show up on your trial date, you affirm your right to a speedy trial. If it isn’t the first time, well the whole thing just might go away. If it is, there may be a delay. But you affirm your rights anyway.
Finally, there is the lovely 5th amendment rights, most importantly the right not to bring witness against yourself. That means your tormentor will have to face your questions, but in a criminal trail you can not be compelled to take the stand against yourself. You have the constitutional right to discredit the witness against you. And if you’re witness has a questionable past, all the easier it is to discredit whatever they have to say, assuming they show up at all. Assuming they are willing to travel to back up their charge against you.
Here’s another fun fact, by filing a charge against you, your hypothetical out of state tormentor has willingly placed themselves under the jurisdiction of your state. That makes sense, after all they asked law enforcement in your state to file a charge against you. To back up that charge, they must be willing to travel to your state to face the person they are accusing. That puts the accuser squarely into your local jurisdiction to file a counter charge against them. So if some hypothetical out of state individual charges you with a criminal charge, they had best be sure they haven’t stepped on any legal potholes in your state. If they have, well… you know what to do.
This all assumes that the District Attorney in your county will look at the charge and be willing to prosecute. Knowing that the person who charged you is out of state, unlikely to appear, and is currently embroiled in their own legal troubles… well you get the idea.
But this is all hypothetical. If you think this post in directed at you, then perhaps you should fully think through the charges you wish to press against an out of state individual and make sure you are really willing to follow through to the end.