Criminal Defense – Constitutional Rights
Criminal Defense Attorneys – Understanding Your Rights.
Whether you are casually approached by the police or are the subject of a criminal defense investigation, you need to understand your rights.
We all have rights, but we can waive those rights. Our rights stem from and are guaranteed by Federal and State Constitutions. These rights are then molded by laws and courts.
Below are important rights or weapons of mass protection to be aware of when coming into contact with the police. It is vital to remember that while you have guaranteed rights, you have to exercise those rights or risk losing them.
- Freedom of Speech: you can say what you want.
- Freedom of Assembly: you can protest if you want.
- Right to Bear Arms: you have the right to own a gun (exceptions apply)
“Show me the Warrant!”
- This is your shield against unreasonable searches and seizures. A search or seizure can range from police officer frisks to blood draw demands to a search of your home. This amendment also imposes limitations on police investigations and prevents the use of illegally obtained evidence at a criminal defense trial.
- While “warrantless searches” are presumed to be unreasonable, a search based on your consent is allowed. In other words, don’t consent to searches.
5th Amendment – “I plea the 5th.”
- You cannot be forced by police to reveal incriminating information that may be used against you in court. In other words if the police want to speak with you, inform them “you would be happy to cooperate with your criminal defense attorney present.”
6th Amendment – “Lawyer Up!”
- You have the right to counsel and the right to be told of such upon arrest (also known as Miranda warnings). Understand anything you say will and can be used against you. For example, in a routine traffic stop and subsequent DWI investigation answering such questions about what, when, and how much you drank will come in as evidence in a criminal trial. This is true despite not being read your Miranda warnings.