Getting suspected of a crime affects the integrity and future of the person. The after-effects of suspicion are not limited to this. Depending on who you are and what you do, it can significantly transform your way of living. Not to mention, people suspected of an offense often feel overwhelmed and confused. It hampers their logical thinking ability.
However, remember that the U.S. criminal justice system states that every individual is innocent until proven guilty. You have a series of rights that you can exercise when suspected or arrested for an offense. If you are treated unfairly during the trial period, it is a violation of your rights, and you must take appropriate action to protect yourself. With that being said, let’s learn more about your rights!
Essential Rights You Should Exercise
If the police contact you for a criminal investigation, let’s say for a case related to sexual harassment, where you are a suspect, you must use the following rights:
Right To Privacy: The 4th Amendment to the Constitution provides you the right to privacy, including protection from unwarranted searches and seizures of your property (house or office) and yourself. You also have the right to refuse to allow the police to search your home, automobile, or other property, unless they have a search warrant. It would be best if you asked for the warrant.
Right To Leave: You have the right to leave if you are not under arrest and have not been given your Miranda rights under the 5th Amendment to the United States Constitution. If you are stopped by the police, you might not be sure whether you are being arrested or simply questioned. In such a scenario, it is wise to ask the police. If they tell you that you are not under arrest, you should leave immediately and contact an expert criminal defense attorney to help you figure out what to do next.
Right To Remain Silent: Under the 5th Amendment, you have the right to remain silent and avoid incriminating yourself. If the authorities question you, you must exercise your right to stay silent. Plus, you should also inform the officer that you would like your attorney to be there. You should not respond to the officers’ questions or speak with them since they may try to persuade you to make false claims.
Right To An Attorney. You have the right to an attorney under the Constitution’s 6th Amendment. If you believe you are a suspect, you should utilize this right and get an attorney. Nevertheless, make sure that you get in touch with the right attorney. Continuing the above example, if you are falsy accused of sexual harassment, you must contact sex crime attorney legal services to help you avoid being charged with the crime. They will have expertise in similar types of cases. Thus, they can formulate the right strategy to help you. Make sure not to answer any authorities’ questions in the absence of the attorney.
Things You Need To Take Into Consideration
- Bear in mind that anything you might say can be used against you in the court of law and during trials. So, you must exercise your right to remain silent or choose your words wisely to avoid getting into more trouble.
- When you request the services of an attorney, the authorities are not allowed to interrogate you again without your attorney. In other words, you have the right to have an attorney present throughout your initial and subsequent interactions with the authorities.
- Criminal suspects who are being kept in jail awaiting trial may not be considered as guilty persons until they have been convicted, regardless of how solid the evidence against them is. Your rights may have been violated if you were penalized while awaiting trial.
What To Do When You Are Being Interrogated?
Understand that authorities or police officers are trained to employ a variety of techniques to get people to speak with them. Your attorney will be able to recognize these methods and assist you in avoiding them. They can also advise you on how to respond to the officer’s queries based on individual scenarios. Some general guidelines to follow are as follows:
- Stay calm.
- Do not hinder or lie during an inquiry. You might be charged with a separate criminal violation for this.
- You must not give up any of your rights.
- Do not discuss your case with other detainees if you are placed in a holding cell.
- Do not discuss your case on a prison phone since it may be tape-recorded.
It is surely overwhelming to deal with suspicion and prove your innocence for an offense. Nevertheless, you must keep your calm and consult your attorney before speaking with the authorities.