October 8, 2022 | Criminal Defense
Have you been accused of a crime? If so, you might believe that the police officers treated you unfairly or violated your rights. You could be correct.
Law enforcement officers violate suspects’ civil rights during investigations and arrests. Violating your rights could lead to one or more defenses in your criminal case. However, the police officers nor the prosecutor is going to admit to violating the rights of an accused person.
You have specific rights under Kentucky law and the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution. These rights protect people from being convicted of a crime with due process. The laws help ensure that our justice system remains fair and impartial.
Three of the most commonly violated rights are:
Unlawful Searches and Seizures
You are protected by the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution from unreasonable searches and seizures by law enforcement agents. Police officers cannot pull you over or stop you to conduct an investigation and search unless they have reasonable suspicion. The law protects you from arbitrary actions by officers that could be based on prejudice, biases, or other unlawful reasons.
Law enforcement officers need probable cause to make an arrest. It is a higher standard than reasonable suspicion. The officers must be able to explain the facts that give them a reasonable basis for believing that you committed a crime or a crime is being committed to make an arrest or obtain a warrant.
Evidence obtained through an illegal search and seizure could be ruled inadmissible in court.
Failing To Read the Miranda Warning
The United States Supreme Court held in the case of Miranda vs. Arizona that the police could not hold a suspect for questioning without informing the suspect of specific rights. The Miranda Warning requires the officers to inform you that you have the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney, and anything you say can be held against you in court.
The officers are not required to read the Miranda Warning unless they detain and interrogate you and they want to use your statements against you in court.
You can waive your right to remain silent and to have counsel. However, you should never waive your rights. Talking to the police or a prosecutor without a lawyer present could result in a guilty verdict.
Instead, tell the police officers you exercise your right to remain silent and then stop talking. Then, contact a Lexington criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Violations of Due Process
When you are accused of committing a criminal offense, you have the right to due process of law. From the highest federal court to the lowest municipal court, you have the right to be treated by a judicial system of fair procedures and proceedings.
Our government must operate within the law. Due process means you have the right to be given notice of being accused of a crime and the opportunity to respond and be heard. You also have the right to have an impartial judge or jury rule on your guilt or innocence.
Prosecutors may violate due process by failing to turn over information and evidence that could be favorable to your defense. This information is called exculpatory evidence. The defense has an ongoing duty to turn over all exculpatory evidence to a defendant that could be used to prove the defendant’s innocence.
Due process includes the right to call witnesses and subpoena information favorable to your case. A court can compel an uncooperative witness to answer questions under oath if your lawyer subpoenas the witness to testify in court.
How Do I Know if My Rights Have Been Violated by the Police, Prosecutors, or the Court?
Most individuals do not have a working knowledge of the legal system or the law. Therefore, asking a Lexington criminal defense attorney is the best way to know if your rights were violated.
It does not matter whether you face a felony or a misdemeanor. It does not matter whether you are innocent or guilty. You need legal representation when the police arrest you for DUI, sex crimes, drug crimes, or other criminal charges.
Innocent until proven guilty is not sufficient for a defense. If you trust the system to do what is fair and just, you could find yourself in jail when you do not belong there.
A criminal defense lawyer investigates the charges against you, including the police investigation, your arrest, and the interrogation. If the police violate your rights, an attorney fights to get you justice.
Contact the Lexington Criminal Defense Attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC For Help Today
Suhre & Associates, LLC – Lexington
333 West Vine Street #212
Lexington, KY 40507