Police are tasked with upholding the law, but that doesn’t mean they can be authoritarian in how they dole out justice. Police have to adhere to specific laws and rights that are guaranteed to every US citizen, and if they don’t, you can get your charges thrown out even if the evidence against you appears clear. Below, we explain what you should do if you believe your rights and protections were violated by police.
Common Rights Violations
There are a number of ways police can violate the basic rights of an individual. Many of them surround the Fourth Amendment and your right to protect yourself against unreasonable searches and seizures, but that’s not the only kind of violation. Some of the most common violations we hear about and challenge in court include:
- Illegal vehicle searches
- Illegal home/dwelling searches
- Illegal traffic stops
- Miranda rights violations
- Not granting a person a lawyer when requested during questioning
- Lying about an incident
When it comes to illegal searches, police must either have the person’s permission, have the person in custody or have a written warrant that allows them to search the area. Even then, they still can only search the specified area. So if the warrant allows them to search your house and police end up going through your detached garage, that could certainly be a rights violation.
Police Violated Your Rights
If you believe that your rights were violated at some point in the process, the single most important thing you can do is to contact a criminal defense lawyer. They’ll be able to take a closer look at the situation to determine if you have grounds for dismissal and how to best go about pursuing your case. We’ve won countless cases going after rights violations, and we can do the same for you if police acted inappropriately.
Other things to keep in mind throughout the legal process include:
Record Your Interaction – You are allowed to record police during an interaction. Consider using your smartphone to capture the true events of what transpired. A cop’s word tends to go farther than a person’s word, but video evidence is more trustworthy than a cop’s version of events.
Get Witnesses – If anyone witnessed the interaction or infraction, get their contact information. Your lawyer can reach out and get a statement that backs up your argument.
Write Down Your Story – We’ve found that it’s often helpful for individuals to write down their experience shortly after the events in question. Odds are your adrenaline is pumping and the stress from the incident can inhibit your memory later down the road. But if you write down specific details shortly after they happen, you’ll be more credible when asked to recall the incident at a later date.
If you’re going to challenge an arrest based on a right violation, you need to have a professional in your corner. Let us be there for you. To learn more about what we can do for you, set up a free case review by calling (952) 224-2277.