There are many rights that are enshrined in the U.S. Constitution that protect people who are being investigated for a crime by the state or federal government. Some of the most important come from the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments, and give you crucial rights that you can count on during a criminal investigation in Philadelphia.
Your Right to Privacy
While the word “privacy” never appears in the Constitution, its meaning is everywhere, particularly in the civil rights that are guaranteed to criminal defendants. This is why courts across the country have decided that your privacy rights largely dictate when police need to seek out a warrant before conducting a search.
Your Right Not to Incriminate Yourself
The Fifth Amendment guarantees your right to not be compelled to incriminate yourself. While this right seems strange, it comes from the colonial times where torture and extreme interrogation methods were commonly used to extract confessions from prisoners. By giving you the right to remain silent and prohibiting law enforcement from compelling you to speak, once you exercise that right, the Fifth Amendment is one of your staunchest advocates.
Your right to remain silent is also an integral right to have when police want to talk with you. By invoking your right to remain silent, you can put an end to conversations that police manipulate into confessions of guilt or create evidence against you.
Your Right to Leave if Not Detained
Until you are under arrest, you have the right to walk away from a police officer, even in the middle of a conversation. Once arrested, though, numerous other civil rights get triggered, so police try putting off an arrest for as long as possible.
Outright asking a police officer if you are under arrest can bring this issue to a head: If the officer says that you are, you can invoke your Sixth Amendment right to an attorney, and then your Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination by staying silent until your attorney arrives. If the officer says you are not under arrest, you can leave.
Your Right to an Attorney
Perhaps the most important right you have while you are under investigation for a crime in Philadelphia is your right to a lawyer. This right has to be actively invoked, though, for it to be enforced. Once you have exercised this right with a clear statement that you want a lawyer, police have to stop questioning or bothering you until a lawyer is at your side.
Criminal Defense Attorney Joseph D. Lento Serves Philadelphia
Having a criminal defense lawyer at your side is a huge benefit because their experience with law enforcement techniques, their extensive knowledge of your rights, and how the two intersect is something that few other people have. Joseph D. Lento is one such lawyer. Contact him online or by phone at 215-535-5353 if you want the legal representation that you need, if you are under investigation for a crime in Philadelphia, or think that you might be. His advice can protect your rights and your future.