The government of our state and our nation is constantly working to strip the rights of the less fortunate. Employees’ rights to unionize are eroded while employers gain rights to fire their workers without cause. The rights of tenants to recover from landlords are stripped while landowners can more easily evict the people who actually live in the homes. The rich and powerful get richer while the weak and poor lose out. There is one aspect of our society however, where the constitution clearly and unequivocally protects the rights of everyone equally. Those rights are the rights of the criminal defendant. If you are charged with a crime, hire a skilled Sarasota criminal lawyer who will fight for and assert the rights that you have.
Crime does not discriminate based on wealth or power. People can be charged and convicted of crimes if they are homeless on the street or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. And the rights owed to a criminal defendant apply regardless of that person’s lot in life. Recently, there have been attempts to reduce the effect of a defendant’s rights in the criminal justice system, but luckily those same rights are firmly entrenched in the body of our State and National constitution, making it all the more difficult to put a dent in those important rights.The Fourth Amendment
One of the most commonly associated constitutional rights associated with criminal defendants is the right against unreasonable searches and seizures. The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution states: “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 us all against searches and arrest from the police without a warrant or without probable cause. It imposes an important balance, and protects our privacy from a government that often seems far too willing to peer into the details of our lives. If police violate the Fourth Amendment and uncover evidence of a crime, a skilled Sarasota Criminal defense attorney can turn the illegal actions of the police against them and get the unlawfully seized evidence thrown out of court.The Fifth Amendment
The Fifth Amendment states that no person “shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.” In civil court, where people sue each other for divorce, for money or for property, no such rights exist. Opposing parties can be called to testify in their own defense or for the benefit of their adversary. In a criminal case, a defendant is protected from this possibility by the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution. The authorities and the prosecution are required to prove their case against you beyond a reasonable doubt, and they are not entitled to your help to do it. You are protected against self incrimination and are allowed to remain silent under the Fifth Amendment.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 sets up much of today’s criminal procedure. It guarantees the right to be tried by a jury of one’s peers and importantly, guarantees the right to a lawyer. You should not fail to exercise this right. If you are charged with a crime, you should immediately contact a Sarasota Criminal attorney to aid in your defense.Speak to Our Lawyers Today
The lawyers at Hanlon Law are ready and able to assert all of your constitutional rights. Contact us today for a consultation at (727) 897-5413.