Posted on December 4, 2021 in Criminal Defense
The founding fathers created the Bill of Rights and made it part of the Constitution to protect the rights of American citizens. Many of the rights they created exist to protect those accused of crimes. We discuss some of these rights below.
The first of the 3 most frequently violated rights of the accused in Phoenix, Arizona, is unlawful searches and seizures. Under the 4th Amendment, every person in the United States has the right to be free from “unreasonable searches and seizures.”
An unreasonable search and seizure can be understood as a search or arrest without the required level of suspicion. There are different levels of suspicion required for law enforcement to stop someone and/or search them.
Some examples of different levels of suspicion include:
These three levels of suspicion are listed from lowest level to highest. A search of the home is considered most intrusive, so it requires the highest level of suspicion. A traffic stop requires the lowest level, since it is considered the least intrusive.
Probable cause to arrest requires the police to have a reasonable belief, based on clearly articulable facts, that the suspect committed the crime. Probable cause is more than a hunch.
If law enforcement does not have the required level of suspicion to search or arrest someone, they could violate the constitution if they continue with a search or arrest. Courts are required to release someone who was unlawfully arrested — and to throw out any evidence police gathered through an unlawful search. This is called the exclusionary rule.
Under the 5th Amendment, everyone has what is called the “Privilege Against Self Incrimination.” This is more frequently referred to as the right to remain silent.
If you have ever watched a police show, you have probably seen them read a suspect their Miranda rights. When police arrest someone, they are required to read you your Miranda rights verbatim before questioning you. If they don’t properly advise you of your right to remain silent and to have an attorney present, anything you say to them after being arrested can be thrown out of court.
The final of the 3 most frequently violated rights of the accused in Phoenix is the right to a fundamentally fair court process. The Due Process Clause in the 14th Amendment says that no state can “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”
Defendants accused of crimes may have their due process rights violated and not even realize it. The criminal justice system is very complicated, and when prosecutors play games or courts cut corners, due process is often implicated.
Some common ways due process is violated include during discovery, confrontation of witnesses, jury selection, and time to consult with counsel. There are countless ways your rights can be violated.
For more information, contact the criminal defense attorney Craig Orent. Give us a call at (480) 656-7301 or visit our law office at 11811 N Tatum Blvd UNIT 3031, Phoenix, AZ 85028. We offer a free case evaluation, so get the help you deserve today.