Constitutional Violation as a Criminal Defense  

In the U.S., people accused of crimes have their rights protected by the Constitution, known as constitutional rights. These rights ensure fair treatment by the government. It’s important to know that if these rights are violated, it could be a strong defense in your case, even if you’re guilty.  If you’re charged with a crime, it’s crucial to understand the common violations of these rights.

Why Constitutional Violations Matter in Your Case?

Paying attention to constitutional violations in criminal cases is crucial. The U.S. Constitution guarantees rights for fair trials and protection against unfair searches. When these rights are violated by law enforcement or prosecutors, it can lead to evidence being thrown out, charges being dropped, or even convictions being overturned. Understanding and protecting your constitutional rights is essential if you’re facing criminal charges in Texas.

4th Amendment Rights

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects individuals from unlawful searches and seizures by law enforcement. Usually, the police need a warrant to search someone’s property, car, or home. However, in certain urgent situations or if the police have a good reason, like strong suspicion, they can search without a warrant. If a search violates the Fourth Amendment, any evidence found may not be allowed in court.

5th Amendment Rights

The Fifth Amendment allows you to remain silent to avoid saying something that could make you seem guilty. When police arrest you and want to ask questions, they must tell you your Miranda Rights, including the following:

  1. You have the right to remain silent.
  2. Anything you say can be used against you in court.
  3. You have the right to have a lawyer present.
  4. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be provided for you.

Also with the same amendment, individuals cannot be tried twice for the same crime, a principle known as “double jeopardy.” Once a jury has returned a verdict of not guilty, that decision is final. Even if new evidence emerges, the state cannot initiate another trial for the same offense.

6th Amendment Rights

Defendants are entitled to a speedy trial to prevent lengthy pretrial detention. They can waive this right if they need more time to prepare. However, neither the federal nor Texas state constitution specifies a precise timeframe for a speedy trial, so determining a violation of this right often requires legal expertise.

The same Constitution also gives criminal defendants the right to question witnesses who testify against them, known as cross-examination. This helps challenge their testimony and check their credibility. Usually, witnesses must testify in court so the defendant can see them and question them directly. Defendants also have the right to bring in other witnesses to support their side of the story.

Impact of Constitutional Rights Violations

Violations of your constitutional rights can heavily impact your criminal case, potentially preventing a conviction and the long-term consequences of a criminal record.

  1. Excluding Evidence

If the police collect evidence or your confession in a way that violates your rights, you can ask to have it excluded from your case. This might lead to the prosecutor dropping the charges due to a lack of evidence or offering you a better plea deal.

  1. Being Found Not Guilty

If you go to trial, you may be found not guilty if the prosecutor can’t prove you’re guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

  1. Appealing a Conviction

Violating your constitutional rights could be a reason to appeal. One common reason for appealing a conviction is if you had ineffective legal representation.

Arrested? Don’t Plead, Call Me!

Understanding and protecting your constitutional rights is crucial if you’re facing criminal charges. Violations of these rights can significantly impact your case, potentially leading to the exclusion of evidence, the dismissal of charges, or even the overturning of a conviction. If you’re concerned about potential constitutional defenses after being arrested for a crime, it’s essential to seek the guidance of a skilled criminal defense lawyer. They can help navigate the complexities of your case, protect your rights, and work towards the best outcome.

Don’t face this alone. Seek the expertise of the Texas Criminal Defense Group to safeguard your rights and pursue the best possible outcome for your case.