Fourth Amendment Rights
The United States Constitution is one of the most important documents in in American history. While it is far from perfect, constitutional amendments through history have pushed the document toward a better expression of American values. The bill of rights, comprising of the first ten amendments to the constitution add several rights that have become inexplicably linked to the American experience. Several of those amendments have extremely important implications for criminal defendants. Skilled St. Petersburg criminal defense lawyers should have a deep understanding of the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth amendments in order to provide the most complete representation to their clients.
As criminal lawyers, we have been inundated with study of the constitution and its amendments since our first days in law school. While law schools across the country have a heavy focus on learning and understanding the constitution, regular education systems do not. We are often appalled at the constitutional abuses and breaches committed by law enforcement officers. And so many of our clients could avoid serious legal issues if they simply understood their constitutional rights and asserted them in confrontations with police. On many occassions, officers lack evidence to prosecute defendants for crimes, yet those same suspects waive their Fifth Amendment rights to remain silent and admit to the offense. Even more often, hiring a skilled defense lawyer can save a defendant from prosecution, but too often people wait for too long.Understanding Your Rights Under The Fourth Amendment
As a criminal defendant, the Fourth Amendment can be one of the greatest weapons in your arsenal fighting criminal charges. The amendment states that “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizure, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall be issued, but upon probable cause…” It is sometimes shocking to learn how few people know or understand the implications of their fourth amendment rights. A vast majority of crimes dealing with unlawful possession of contraband, whether it be drugs, firearms, or other illegal materials, are initiated based on a warrantless search by police officers. The Fourth amendment of the constitution expressly prohibits warrantless searches. A dedicated St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney can make sure you fully understand your rights.
A skilled lawyer can also help you assert your rights if you are ever unlawfully confronted by police. The Fourth amendment is commonly implicated during traffic stops. While some cops earnestly stop cars committing traffic violations to issue them tickets, most officers conducting traffic stops have other things in mind. Most commonly, officers conduct traffic stops with the intention of searching the car and its occupants for contraband. In order to justify a search without a warrant, officers must have a legal basis to do so. In the context of a traffic stop, this legal basis often arises in the form of consent. That is, the cop will simply ask the occupants of the car if they can search it. The stress and fear of dealing with police often leads people to agree to allow the search. This is a mistake. It is important to understand that you do not ever have to agree to a search. The constitution explicitly prevents your refusal to cooperate with police from being used against you in court. If you are ever confronted by police for any reason, you should contact a dedicated St. Petersburg criminal lawyer.Speak To Our Lawyers Today
The attorneys at Hanlon Law have years of experience defending the constitutional rights of our clients. Our steadfast dedication to asserting the rights of our clients often results in excellent results in their cases that would not be attainable with less dedicated lawyers. For a consultation to find out how we can help you with your case, call us today at 727.289.0222.