Stopped in Miami: Do You Know Your Constitutional Rights?
Miami criminal lawyers field a lot of questions, most of which deal with your rights. Despite the fact that 9/11 did serious damage to the Bill of Rights, particularly the 4thAmendment, we still have many legal protections against unreasonable searches and seizures and our 5th Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination. Understanding these rights can be the difference between freedom and time in the state’s custody.
The right to be secure in your persons, houses, papers, and effects:
The 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution states that: “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be
violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation and particularly describing the places to be searched and the person’s or things to be seized”.
Our Founders understood how tyranny and corruption take root, and put in place safeguards to prevent people from being harassed or railroaded by law enforcement agents. What this means is that if police show up without a warrant you do not have to allow them access to your home, car, or even your identification, and if they have a warrant it must be specific and detail what they are looking for at the time of the search.
You have a right to refuse them entry into your home or to search your vehicle. Now, they will push the issue, even act aggressively to get you to make a mistake. If they can get you to react “violently” or give them probable cause that an active crime is in commission, then they will get their way. Be calm and firm when speaking with officers, have someone video it whenever possible.
The right to remain silent:
This is actually part of the 5th Amendment that states that no one “…shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.” The famous “Miranda” case upheld that right and even forces police to remind you that you have the right to remain silent.
You have the right to wait for an attorney before speaking, and should. When you waive that right you put yourself in extreme jeopardy of accidentally placing yourself at the scene of a crime. Police are allowed by law to lie to you to gain a confession. Innocent people have gone to jail for rape and murder simply because they put themselves near a crime scene thinking that their interaction with the police would help their situation. So don’t do it.
If you have been stopped, called, questioned or had the police come by to your work or home—call us today. As Miami criminal lawyers we understand the law and will fight aggressively for your rights.
Increase your knowledge! If you want to know more about how to resolve the problems you face when charged with a criminal offense in Florida, then you can follow Miami Criminal Defense Attorney Albert M. Quirantes on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.
If you have any questions about this or any other criminal accusation, call Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Albert Quirantes at: 305-644-1800 or visit our homepage www.CriminalDefendant.com for a direct link to the office or a text message or a map and directions to our office.