Missouri officers arrest numerous individuals every single day. Police officers have a duty to protect and serve their public, and most do their utmost to achieve those goals. However, some may take things too far and fail to protect the rights of alleged suspects. Any person who is accused of a crime has the right, as part of one's criminal defense, to question whether his or her rights have been violated at any point during the process. But how does one know if any legal rights have actually been violated?
In order to determine if one's rights were violated, it's important to gain an understanding of the protections provided by law. One of the most important legal rights is the right to remain silent. During and after an arrest, a person who has been forced or coerced into speaking by the authorities has had his or her rights violated. Police must inform suspects that anything they say can and will be used against them in court.
Authorities must also inform individuals under arrest that they are permitted to have an attorney present during questioning and at all stages of the criminal proceedings. If an individual is denied an attorney after making a request for one, it may be a violation of one's rights. Once a request is made, police cannot ask a suspect any further questions until the attorney arrives. Accused individuals are also guaranteed the right to a speedy trial, the presumption of innocence and the right to treated humanely.
A person's constitutional rights are sacred. When these rights are violated, it is possible to hold the police responsible. In some cases, this may lead to an outright dismissal of one's case. Any person here in Missouri who has been charged with a crime or feels that he or she has had his or her rights violated may benefit from the guidance and assistance of a criminal defense attorney.
Source: FindLaw, "Getting Arrested Checklist: Have My Rights Been Violated?", Accessed on Nov. 27, 2015