From the arrest to the interrogation, police officers have a legal obligation to make sure that a suspect’s constitutional rights are not infringed upon. However, violations of arrestees’ constitutional rights are common, particularly if the officer has not received proper training. If you are facing criminal charges in Georgia, you should review the circumstances of your arrest with an attorney to make sure that your rights were not violated. Here are two of the more common violations:
Unlawful search and seizure
Under the Fourth Amendment, officers generally must have one of the following to conduct a search of any place you have a legitimate expectation of privacy (e.g., your home):
- A warrant
- Probable cause
Although there are a few exceptions, conducting a search without probable cause is considered a violation of your Fourth Amendment rights, and any evidence obtained during the unlawful search will be excluded by the court.
Failure to read Miranda rights
The Fifth Amendment protects you from self-incrimination. Once you are in police custody, an officer must read you your Miranda rights before interrogating you. Your Miranda rights include:
- You have the right to remain silent.
- Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
- You have the right to an attorney.
- If you cannot afford one, one will be appointed to you.
Failure to read you your Miranda rights before beginning the interrogation process could be a violation of your Fifth Amendment rights and anything you say during an unlawful interrogation cannot be used against you by prosecutors.
A violation of your constitutional rights can have a significant impact on whether you are convicted of criminal charges. A criminal defense attorney can review your case and determine whether your rights have been violated by law enforcement.