Use of Constitutional Violations in Criminal Defense

man arrested for a crime

Being charged with a crime can bring on feelings of anger, anxiety, overwhelm, and so much more. It can feel like your fate is left in total control of the system. Know that being charged with a crime is the beginning, not the end. A criminal charge need not turn into a criminal conviction and there are a number of effective criminal defense strategies that can be employed to prevent such a thing from happening. One of the most commonly used strategies involves constitutional violations that may have occurred over the course of your criminal case. Here, we will speak more about your Constitutional rights and what a violation of these rights can mean for your criminal case.

Use of Constitutional Violations in Criminal Defense

The U.S. Constitution is a foundational document in our country. The rights guaranteed by the U.S. remain constant. A person’s constitutional rights do not diminish because he or she is under suspicion of criminal activity nor do they go away when a person is charged with a crime. In fact, a violation of a person’s constitutional rights can have a significant impact on a criminal case.

Take, for example, a person’s Fourth Amendment right which protects against unreasonable search and seizure. In order for law enforcement to conduct a search of a person’s home or vehicle, there must be a warrant or probable cause for that search. Without either of these things, a search will be deemed to be in violation of that person’s Fourth Amendment right. As a result, evidence gathered as a result of that unlawful search will likely be deemed inadmissible in court. This can have profound implications for a criminal case as it can result in key evidence in the prosecution’s case being tossed out. With the tossing out of such evidence, the prosecution’s case may be significantly weakened. It may even be weakened to the point where the prosecution decides to try for a plea bargain and reduce the severity of the charges. Alternatively, the prosecution may decide to drop the charges altogether due to lacking enough evidence to substantiate a conviction.

Violation of a person’s Fifth Amendment rights can also prove pivotal in a criminal case. The Fifth Amendment protects a person’s right against self-incrimination, the right to remain silent. Miranda warnings are required pursuant to the Fifth Amendment. Law enforcement must inform a person under arrest and prior to interrogation of the right to remain silent as anything said can and will be used against the person in a court of law. Should law enforcement fail to provide these warnings, statements made, including admissions and confessions, can be found inadmissible in court. As with evidence illegally obtained that is tossed out, this can significantly weaken a prosecutor’s case resulting in a plea deal or dropped charges.

In sum, constitutional violations can lead to criminal charges being dropped. They can lead to charges being reduced. Furthermore, they can lead to a defendant being acquitted by a court of law because a prosecutor failed to prove guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Constitutional violations can also form the basis of a successful criminal appeal.

Kentucky Criminal Defense Attorney

At Dickman Law Office P.S.C., we prepare the most rigorous defense possible for our clients that are in the fight of their lives against criminal charges. Contact us today.

Posted in: Criminal Defense