If you are accused of a crime, you have legal rights protected by the United States Constitution as well as the laws of California. Once arrested, you need to know your rights. The following are five things you need to know if you believe that the police have violated your rights.
- You have the right to be free of unreasonable government searches and seizures.
The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution protects people from illegal searches and seizures by the police. Generally, this means that the police cannot search you or your home, or seize your personal property without probable cause or a search warrant.
- You have the right to remain silent.
Under the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution, you have a right against self-incrimination. This is often referred to as the right to remain silent, confirmed in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Miranda v. Arizona.
- You have the right to have an attorney.
The Sixth Amendment of the Constitution ensures your right to a lawyer. You have the right to have an attorney present during questioning as well as well as during any trial. Once you request to speak to an attorney, the police must cease all questioning until the attorney arrives.
- You have the right to be treated humanely.
The Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects the public from cruel and unusual punishment. If the police have deprived you of food and water, or if you were beaten during police questioning or while in a jail cell, your rights may have been violated.
- You have the right to a speedy trial.
Once you have been charged with a crime, the prosecution cannot purposefully wait to commence a trial against you. The federal right to a speedy trial is found in the speedy trial clause of the Sixth Amendment and the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Under the California Constitution, the time limit is 60 days.
If you believe your constitutional rights have been violated by the police, you should contact a California criminal attorney to discuss your legal recourse. Contact us to ensure your rights are protected.