Your Rights in a Criminal Investigation in Georgia
Being charged with a crime can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. The investigation leading up to the arrest and then the resulting investigation can be confusing. We understand that you may feel unsure of what you should do and how you should interact with the officers and investigators. It's critical to know that you have rights at every stage of the criminal process! Our attorneys can help make sure your rights have not been violated and will help you navigate the complicated investigations and criminal justice process.
In this article, we will look at some of the rights guaranteed to you by the U.S. Constitution. Call us today if you think one of your rights has been violated.
Fourth Amendment Protection from Unlawful Search and Seizure
The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures. It states that police must obtain a search warrant before searching you, your home, or your car. However, this does not apply in specific circumstances. In order to obtain a search warrant, the police must request one from a judge showing that there is probable cause that the evidence of a crime will found on the person or premises the officer would like to search.
Even if the warrant is approved, the police must stay within the scope of the warrant while they are executing the warrant. For example, if the warrant is for a stolen automobile, the police do not have the right to go through drawers that would be too small to hide a car.
If evidence is seized that was outside the scope of the warrant, your Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer can bring a motion arguing for the exclusion of that evidence.
Fifth Amendment Protection from Self Incrimination
“Pleading the fifth” is a phrase most people know about but do not know how to apply it. This phrase refers to the Fifth Amendment, which states that no one can be forced to provide evidence to bear witness against themselves in a criminal case. If a police officer asks you if you have committed a crime, you have the right to remain silent if answering would incriminate you.
The Fifth Amendment coincides with the Miranda warning that law enforcement officers must state when arresting someone: “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 speak with an attorney, and to have an attorney during questioning, etc”. Our lawyers recommend that you never speak to the police without a lawyer present. Call us now if you have been arrested!
Sixth Amendment Right to Counsel
The Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution gives you the right to an attorney during the entire criminal process. It also guarantees that you have the right to a jury, to see the evidence against you, the right to be present during your trial, and the right to question any witnesses who are building a case against you. It also gives you the right to have your own witnesses, the right to testify, and the right to have the state prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
How Our Georgia Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Protect Your Rights
During the criminal process, it is vital to the outcome of your case that you exercise your right to hire a criminal defense lawyer from Lawson and Berry. We will ensure that your Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendment rights are protected! You can count on us to represent you during every step of the investigation.
If you have been arrested or are being investigated for a crime, it is in your best interest to call Lawson and Berry for a free case evaluation. We will work tirelessly to secure a favorable case outcome on your behalf. Contact us now.