If you have even been arrested or accused of a crime, you know how dehumanizing the experience can be. Criminal suspects are often treated much worse than they deserve. However, you should know that those suspected of criminal activity have certain rights which cannot legally be denied to them. Every citizen should be educated about his or her rights and take steps to ensure that they are treated properly according to the law.
The Right to Be Free from Unreasonable Search and Seizure
The Fourth Amendment to the U.S Constitution states, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” If police wish to enter a person’s property in order to find evidence that they plan to use in court, they usually need a search warrant. Nonetheless, there are some situations which allow police to execute a search without a warrant. It is always a good idea not to give police your consent to search your home if they do not have a warrant. If police search anyway, do not attempt to physically stop them, but do make note of the circumstances and that you did not consent to the search. This information can be tremendously valuable in the future.
The Right to Counsel
The Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution ensure that criminal defendants have the right to legal counsel. Any person, regardless of the crime they have been accused of, have the right to hire an attorney. Police are not allowed to question or interrogate someone suspected of criminal activity without offering that person the chance to have a lawyer present. Even if you cannot afford an attorney, a court-appointed lawyer will be assigned to you.
The Right to Remain Silent
Many people have heard the phrase “You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.” These “Miranda Rights” are the reminder police must give people they arrest that they have the right not to incriminate themselves. If police interrogate a suspect without first giving them the Miranda warning, any confession or statement made cannot be used against the suspect in any criminal case. Furthermore, evidence revealed as a result of that statement or confession will likely also be thrown out of the case. If you are ever arrested, it is always a good idea to remain silent until you have the opportunity to talk to a lawyer.
If you have been accused of a crime, contact a skilled Elgin criminal defense attorney at The Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola. Call 847-488-0889 to schedule a free, completely confidential consultation of your case today.