The Rights of Persons Accused of Crimes
Before being questioned about an offense by a police officer or other law enforcement personnel, many people do not think twice about their legal rights. Whether you are guilty or innocent, as soon as criminal charges are filed against you, you become a criminal defendant.
You could be tried in a federal or state court, depending on the nature of the allegations against you. If the court finds you guilty, you will be convicted and punished. Therefore, you must be aware of your legal rights if you or a loved one is accused of a crime.
If you are unaware of your rights, it could be detrimental to your criminal case. You could be penalized for a crime you did not commit. As a result, you must know your rights and ensure they are not violated.
A good criminal defense lawyer can help you understand the rights of the accused person and protect you. Your criminal defense attorney will ensure you receive adequate legal representation during the criminal proceedings. Your attorney’s goal is to achieve the best result in your case and ensure your rights are not infringed.
Blank Law, PC represents individuals accused of crimes under the Michigan criminal justice system. We educate our clients on their legal rights and ensure they are protected during a criminal investigation and even a jury trial.
Rights of Persons Accused of Crimes
Through the Bill of Rights and multiple amendments, the United States Constitution guarantees fundamental rights for its citizens, including criminal defendants. Therefore, you should know these legal rights to ensure they are not violated if you are engaged in the criminal justice system process.
You have many rights under state and federal law, including fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment, like freedom of religion, speech and assembly, and the right to petition.
The law protects those involved in criminal prosecutions by safeguarding them against the following:
● Unfair treatment by the police, such as wrongful detention, unlawful arrest, and false imprisonment
● Police violence
● A judicial abuse of your rights
● Being prevented from accessing legal counsel
You have several rights under federal law, including the right to a lawyer and the right to stay silent. These rights are enshrined in the U.S. Constitution’s 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, and 14th amendments.
You are Protected from Illegal Searches and Seizures Under the Fourth Amendment
Before making an arrest, detectives and other law enforcement officers may search suspects’ homes or seize their personal property during a police investigation. This search is conducted to collect proof of the suspect’s guilt.
With that said, the police can only conduct these searches with a warrant. So, suppose you or a family member is under investigation for an offense, but has not yet been arrested. In that case, the 4th Amendment safeguards you against unreasonable searches. The police must have a reasonable suspicion that you are involved in a crime and probable cause, a search warrant, or your consent to search your home, body, or car.
In addition, the police may conduct unauthorized searches and seizures due to ethnic profiling. Police officers occasionally single out members of minority groups as potential criminal suspects. However, numerous laws now prohibit racial profiling, including National Origin Discrimination.
If you do not understand your rights, the police can easily infringe on them. Therefore, you should hire a criminal defense attorney that is familiar with laws against unauthorized inquiries and seizures. Evidence acquired through such unlawful activity may be excluded from consideration in court. It would not implicate you in the matter.
Consult a skilled criminal attorney who can advise you on your rights and stop the cops from violating them. Attorney Nicole Blank Becker can fight for you and protect your rights if you have been accused of a crime in Michigan. Contact our law office, Blank Law, PC, to schedule a free case consultation.
The Fifth Amendment Gives You the Right to Remain Silent
You have the right to stay silent under the 5th Amendment if you are detained or arrested. Anyone arrested or detained by the police must have their Miranda Rights read to them. This right prevents suspects from unintentionally implicating themselves in a crime.
The police can and will question suspects to start collecting evidence before making an arrest or laying charges. When this happens, they may not inform them of their right to silence at the start of the interrogation. Therefore, you should know your right to remain silent when dealing with law enforcement agents.
Miranda rights apply both before and after you are accused of a crime. However, you must intentionally invoke this right, as stated by the U.S. Supreme Court in Berghuis v. Thompkins. You are not allowed to remain silent and dodge the police’s inquiries.
With that said, do not be afraid to exercise your right to silence if you are the subject of a criminal investigation. Contact our law firm if you need advice on how to deal with police officers while being questioned. We can assist you in understanding your rights and responding to the authorities in a way that prevents self-incrimination.
The rights you enjoy under the 5th Amendment include:
● The right to proper process; without a court order, you cannot be denied your right to life, freedom, or property
● Evidence obtained illegally cannot be used against you during an actual trial
● You cannot be tried twice for the same offense if declared innocent in the first trial; this right is called the rule of double jeopardy
The Sixth Amendment Guarantees You the Right to Legal Representation
You have the right to legal counsel under the Sixth Amendment if you are charged with a crime. The judge may appoint a public defender if you cannot afford one. However, retaining a private attorney with more time and criminal defense resources to defend you increases your chances of succeeding in court, particularly jury trials.
Other legal rights protected by the Sixth Amendment include:
● Notice of allegation (you must receive clear and complete information about the charges against you, as well as enough time and information to prepare a defense)
● The right to an impartial jury
● The right to confront and cross-examine witnesses
● The right to a public trial
● The right to a speedy trial
Our criminal defense lawyers represent those accused of crimes in Michigan. We can help you understand your rights and ensure they are not violated. Our legal team will also assist you in obtaining witness testimonies, physical evidence, and other information that could support your case. In addition, we will ensure you get a speedy and public trial and help you get the best results.
The Fourteenth Amendment Also Gives You the Right to Due Process
The Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees everyone the right to a fair trial and equal treatment under the law. This right applies especially to American citizens. The Fourteenth Amendment also requires states to abide by federal law. While you are in police custody, the law forbids them from using force, torture, or any other type of punishment.
Law Enforcement Agents May Infringe on Your Rights to Gather Evidence in an Effort to Incriminate You
The prosecution must prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to secure a criminal conviction. The prosecuting attorney cannot bring charges against you if there is little or no proof against you. As a result, the police investigate and question people to collect proof against them.
The police will persuade you that they are on your side and working for your benefit. However, law enforcement officers are not your allies. During the interrogation, they can and frequently lie and mislead defendants. They behave this way because they know that anything you say can be used against you before your rights have been read.
Law enforcement officers resort to lies and coercion to get defendants to incriminate themselves. Some techniques they may use are illegal, resulting in innocent people being accused of crimes they did not perform. However, suppose the police or prosecution violates your rights. In that case, the court could dismiss the charges against you or declare a mistrial.
Nicole Blank Becker is a Leading Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney Who Will Fight for Your Rights
Suppose you face misdemeanor or felony accusations in Michigan. In that case, you need a criminal defense lawyer to help you build a solid defense. You should hire competent legal representation to demonstrate your innocence or avoid being convicted.
Attorney Nicole Blank Becker and her legal team at Blank Law, PC are prepared to defend and advise you on your legal rights. She will answer your questions and help you navigate the criminal justice system. In addition, we will work with you to build a solid defense to increase the likelihood of getting a favorable outcome. Contact our law office for a defense lawyer free consultation now.