January 17, 2023 | Criminal Defense
Being accused of a crime can be a difficult experience, but it is essential to know your rights as an accused. Three rights are frequently violated by law enforcement, and it is important to understand these rights so that you can protect yourself if they are ever infringed upon.
Keep reading to learn how each of these rights is often violated by the police and what you can do to protect yourself.
The Right To Remain Silent
One of the most commonly violated rights of an accused is the right to remain silent. The Fifth Amendment protects citizens from being forced to act as witnesses against themselves. This means that defendants are not obligated to answer any questions posed by police officers or prosecutors about their alleged crime. Instead, they may choose to remain silent and refuse to testify against themselves.
Unfortunately, this right is often disregarded by police officers who will ask questions even after an individual has indicated that they wish to remain silent, hoping to get more information.
If you are ever questioned by police officers about an alleged crime, politely inform them that you wish to invoke your right to remain silent. Refuse any further questioning without legal counsel present. Make sure your intentions are clear and that you are not inadvertently providing information that could be used against you later on in court proceedings.
The Right To a Lawyer
Another frequently violated right of those accused of crimes is the right to legal counsel. If you are under arrest or being questioned by law enforcement, you have the absolute right to request that an attorney be present before answering any questions or providing any statement or confession.
Police officers may attempt to dismiss requests for legal counsel. However, it is important to remember that you have the right under the law to request an attorney if necessary.
When asserting your right to an attorney, there are two main options available to you. First, if you can afford it, you may choose to hire a private criminal defense lawyer on your own. This option gives you more control over who will represent you in court and allows for more flexibility in terms of scheduling court appearances and meeting times.
The second option is requesting a public defender—a lawyer appointed by the court who will represent defendants without charge in criminal proceedings where they cannot afford their own counsel.
Hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer can be invaluable when facing criminal charges. An experienced attorney can provide advice regarding your rights under the law, build a strong defense for your case, negotiate plea deals if necessary, and offer an objective perspective when making difficult decisions about how to proceed with your case.
The Right To Be Free from Unlawful Searches And Seizures
Finally, another commonly violated right of those accused of crimes is the Fourth Amendment protection against unlawful search and seizure. An unlawful search and seizure occurs when a government official or law enforcement agent performs an unauthorized search or seizure of a person’s person or property without probable cause or a valid warrant.
This can include searching through someone’s home, vehicle, personal belongings, or even their body without permission. It also includes seizing any property found during the search without a valid warrant.
Unfortunately, many police officers will ignore this requirement and proceed with searching homes and people without proper authority. If this happens in your case, it is important for your lawyer to file a motion asserting that any evidence obtained through such an illegal search should not be allowed in court during trial proceedings. This is known as a motion to suppress.
Contact a Louisville Criminal Defense Lawyer If Your Rights Have Been Violated
If you believe any of your rights have been violated, it’s important to talk to a Louisville criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. They’ll prepare a defense detailing the violations, which could result in the charges being reduced or dismissed altogether.