When you’re accused of any sort of crime, it’s a serious situation. There are long-term consequences attached to criminal activity, including jail time, fines and loss of a good reputation. If you have been charged with a crime and you feel someone violated your constitutional rights along the way, you don’t have to sit back and take it. The following are some things you should do.
- Learn and Understand the Law
You don’t want to go before a judge as an ill-informed person charged with a crime. Take some time to learn and understand the law. For example, the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prevents illegal searches and seizures. When you are pulled over and arrested for DUI, it’s considered a seizure. The officer would have to have reasonable suspicion to pull you over in the first place.
If you were following all traffic laws and a police officer pulled you over and arrested you for DUI, and you understand what an illegal seizure is, you could get your case dismissed. As you can see, knowing the law is an essential step when you feel your constitutional rights have been violated.
- Meet with an Attorney
Any time you are charged with criminal activity, you want to have a lawyer by your side. Perhaps you’ve already contacted an attorney because of your charges. If not, you should contact a criminal justice attorney right away. Your lawyer is your advocate. He or she will speak up for you and ensure your rights are not violated. If they have already been violated, your lawyer can speak out against the wrongdoing, which can lessen your load and hopefully help you avoid serious consequences.
There’s also a chance your attorney will suggest you drop the case because your rights weren’t actually violated. Perhaps you learned and thought you understood the law, but you were mistaken. This is where an attorney can give you an honest opinion on whether you have a case or not.
- Go Before a Judge
With the help of your attorney, you can present your case before a judge. This will typically be in the form of a lawsuit against the party that violated your constitutional rights. Generally, that would include the police officer who arrested you, though there are other players in your situation who could be liable.
Getting Started Today
There’s no time to waste when you are faced with a criminal charge. Contact a criminal defense attorney, like from Morales Law Firm, today to discuss whether your constitutional rights were violated and what you can do about it.