Accused or charged with a crime? Know your rights: The 4th, 5th, 6th & 8th Amendments to the Constitution


The “bill of rights” spells out the immunities and protections granted to citizens of the United States of America. On September 25, 1789, the First Congress of the United States proposed to the state legislatures 12 amendments to the Constitution.  The Second Amendment, the Right to Bear Arms, is contained within the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights also guarantees civil rights and liberties to the individuals such as freedom of speech, press, and religion.

The Rights of the Accused Party in a Criminal Matter 

The cornerstone of personal rights for an individual charged with any criminal offense can be found in the 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th Amendments to the United States Constitution.

Fourth Amendment: Right to Be Free From Unreasonable Search and Seizure

The 4th Amendment keeps us free from the government intruding on our privacy and from engaging in any activity to conduct a search and seizure without  The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Fifth Amendment: Right to Remain Silent, Due Process of Law

The 5th Amendment is one of the most significant rights One of the most important rights is your 5th Amendment right to remain silent. The 5th Amendment guarantees a that a person can remain silent if questioned by any government agency. In addition, once a person exercises his or her right to remain silent, no comment can be made upon the person’s decision to remain silent and said silence cannot be used against that person in subsequent criminal prosecution! In other words, the police or prosecutor cannot say to a jury that a person must have something to hide if he or she chose to remain silent.

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Sixth Amendment: Right to Counsel in All Criminal Prosecutions

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.

Our firm is always on high alert to areas where the government (police) may stray and violate a client’s rights by making an unreasonable intrusions, seizures or attempt to use a statement that was procured in violation of a person’s 5th Amendment right to remain silent! When law enforcement doesn’t do it right, you may have grounds for suppression of illegally obtained evidence or dismissal of charges!

Eighth Amendment: Prohibits excessive bail, fines, cruel and unusual punishment

The Eighth Amendment to the US Constitution keeps the courts in check by giving a person the right to be placed on a reasonable bond and not be subjected to cruel or unusual punishment. The Eighth Amendment states that excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

WATCH OUT! The Police are Not Your Friends

Did you know that the police do not have to advise you of your right to remain silent or your right to an attorney unless you have been arrested and placed in police custody? Did you know that the court personnel are forbidden to give you legal advice? In addition, the police, prosecutors and courts are all government institutions, often located in the same complex and they receive their income from the same source. When the government makes mistakes, they settle lawsuits privately and NEVER APOLOGIZE to people that they harm.

It has been said that having your own private criminal defense attorney is the best protection that you can have against the government that doesn’t play fairly or by the rules. Do not hesitate to retain an experienced criminal defense lawyer if you ever accused or charged with a crime or suspect that the government has violated your rights.


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