Your Civil Rights

Clearwater Criminal Lawyers Defending the Accused

Today on TV and social media, we often see videos of people interacting with police an asserting what they believe to be their “rights.” Some people have a better grasp of what our constitutional rights include than others. And the truth is that our education system does not do a great job of informing us of what constitutional rights that we have to exercise. The United States Constitution guarantees us the right to freely assemble, to practice religion, and to speak freely. It also guarantees many rights applicable to criminal defendants. If you are unsure of your rights, you should contact a dedicated Clearwater criminal lawyer to educate you today.

When dealing with criminal issues, several of our constitutional rights are implicated. Freedom of speech may be a defense to certain criminal offenses. Our right against self-incrimination protects us from being used as witnesses against ourselves. Our right to an attorney helps us to make difficult legal decisions with the aid of a lawyer who is trained and practiced in criminal law. The criminal defense lawyers at Hanlon Law believe that our clients should know and assert their rights.

The Fourth Amendment

“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 place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

The Fourth Amendment protects you when police illegally conduct a search or make an arrest. When police make an arrest without a warrant or probable cause, the rights under the Fourth Amendment can be asserted to exclude evidence collected as a result of the illegal arrest.

This section of the constitution also protects you against illegal searches. Officers require either a warrant or probable cause to conduct a search of your person, house, vehicle or property. If an officer asks you for consent to search one of these things, you can and should assert your Fourth Amendment right and refuse to consent. If an officer persists in conducting a search, don’t try to resist them, contact a lawyer immediately. A skilled Clearwater criminal lawyer can help to preserve your rights and advise you on what to do.

The Fifth Amendment

The Fifth Amendment states that no person “shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.” This means that you always have the right to remain silent and to not speak to the police. This right extends to trial, where you are not compelled to testify or to provide any evidence of your own guilt in any criminal matter. If an officer questions you about a criminal investigation, you have no duty to answer their questions. If an officer is questioning you about a criminal case, you should refuse to answer their questions before speaking to a lawyer.

The Sixth Amendment

“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.”

The Sixth Amendment Guarantees your right to a speedy trial by jury and the right to representation by a lawyer. A jury trial is a powerful tool available to you, and the prosecution must prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury of your peers.

You have a constitutional right to a lawyer. If you are facing criminal charges, you should not overlook this right. Do not try to represent yourself or handle a case on your own. Only an experience criminal defense lawyer can give you the advice and counsel you need to make the best decisions on your case.

Speak to a Skilled Clearwater Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

The lawyers at Hanlon Law always strive to protect the rights of their clients. We believe that fully informing our clients of their rights and options sets them up to achieve the best results on their cases. If you are facing criminal charges, call us today at (727) 897-5413.