This post concludes my series on how search and seizure issues impact criminal cases in Phoenix and throughout Arizona. My goal with this series was to help those facing charges understand whether their rights had been violated and to stress the need to call an attorney if you feel you were wronged by law enforcement.
I have addressed a number of topics over my last several posts. Subjects I have looked at included:
- Understanding whether Arizona police violated one’s Fourth Amendment rights
- The rights a Phoenix resident has when confronted by the police
- Whether the police had the right to stop one’s car
- Whether police may search one’s vehicle with a drug-sniffing dog
- The process for excluding evidence due to Fourth Amendment violations
- One’s right to remain silent when speaking with Arizona law enforcement
- The ramifications of speaking to law enforcement without an attorney being present
The point that I have stressed, throughout these posts, is that one should immediately contact counsel if they feel an infringement upon their liberties resulted in arrest. Unfortunately, and too often, defendants make the mistake of thinking that it is “just the way things go” when their freedoms are violated and charges occur. Such people, while unhappy about it, accept a conviction that they may have been able to defend. By understanding your rights you can help to ensure that such is not the case. Remember that it is almost always the case that talking to the police will only hurt your case. You should therefore never answer their questions except when asked for your full legal name.
Violations of constitutional protections are more common than many realize. These violations occur for a number of reasons. First, police officers may not have an in-depth understanding as to the finer points of the law. Second, many law enforcement officers do not believe that the defendant will assert their rights in Court, and, finally, some officers may bank on the accused wishing to simply put the matter behind them and to accept a plea deal. By asserting your rights and fighting the charges against you, however, you may be able to gain a dismissal or reduced conviction. Understanding your options before making a decision which will impact the rest of your life is critical.
Contact my office today, to speak with a criminal defense lawyer, if you have been charged with an offense in the Phoenix area. I also service other Maricopa County cities such as Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale, Chandler, and Gilbert and I assist Pima County residents in Tucson.