Knowing Your Legal & Constitutional Rights

When people are arrested for a crime, often times they are not familiar with their legal rights. It is important for everyone to have an idea of what their legal and constitutional rights entail. Although one never anticipates getting arrested, knowing your rights will be beneficial should you get arrested in the future.

The following is a list of some of your legal and constitutional rights:

  • You have the right against unlawful searches and seizures. This means that in order for the police to search you or your property, they must have a valid search warrant or probable cause.
  • You have the right to remain silent. The gives you the right to refrain from speaking to the police or answering their questions until you have had the chance to speak with an attorney. This right is especially important to take advantage of, as anything you say can be used against you in court.
  • You have the right to an attorney. All people charged with a crime have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford to hire a private criminal defense attorney, the state will appoint a public defender to your case. You do have the option of representing yourself, however, this is not advisable.
  • You have the right to be read your Miranda rights. Once you are in police custody, you must be read your Miranda rights before you are interrogated. These rights include:
    • The right to remain silent
    • The right to have an attorney present during questioning
    • The right to have an attorney appointed to you if you are unable to afford one
  • You have the right to a speedy trial under the 6th Amendment. The 6th Amendment states that you have the right to have a trial within a certain time frame after being charged with a crime, usually 180 days. However, you can have this waived if your attorney needs more time to prepare your defense.
  • You have several rights under the 5th Amendment:
    • You have the right to remain silent in a criminal proceeding, if testifying would result in self incrimination (pleading the fifth).
    • You have the right to a grand jury.
    • You have the right not to be tried twice for the same crime (double jeopardy).
    • You have the right to due process

Experienced Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys

A violation of your rights can result in damaging evidence getting thrown out of court, dropped charges, or a complete dismissal of your case. If you are interested in learning more about your legal and constitutional rights following a criminal arrest, please feel free to contact the Law Offices of Freedman & Freedman to speak with a skilled and dedicated Michigan criminal defense lawyer today!