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Civil Rights And The Criminal Law

23rd May 2011
By damlawny in Criminal Law
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Civil Rights and the Criminal Law- a step-by-step checklist from arrest to arraignment
Preserving the civil rights of any person arrested is of paramount importance. Each person should develop a firm understanding of what their civil rights are through the various legal steps. One should have secured or had representation appointed to them. At that point, the criminal defense attorney will be able to provide deeper guidance and insight.

Being Arrested
The period of time during an arrest is typically high charged with a lot of confusing circumstances. A majority of arresting officers will be trying to do their job in a professional, legal way. A person can tell by knowing the following points:

You may not be coerced or forced into speaking if you do not want to. You must be informed that what you say will be used against you. This right stems from the Fifth Amendment provision that prevents self-incrimination. If you were advised of your right to remain silent but not of the consequences of not doing so, there may have been a violation of rights.

Processing and Booking
During processing after arrest, the police are permitted to ask for name, address, and identification. Many people will also provide a Social Security Number since it is not difficult to locate that information. The choice from that point to give information is up to the person being held and is advised to not give any excessive information.

Questioning is a period that generates a lot of controversy when it comes to the rights of the accused. Increased oversight has drastically reduced the number of “forced” or “coerced” confessions as stipulated by law. Deception is a common practice for police interrogators to build rapport with the accused to solicit a confession.

Quite a few people think they will be able to outsmart the interrogator and initially agree to the questioning. If at any point the accused decides to remain silent and request a lawyer, no more questioning may proceed until the lawyer is present even if initially turned down. It is never beneficial to agree to questioning without legal representation as a guide and safety mechanism.

The arrested have the right to be held in sanitary conditions, treated fairly and not punished as guilty while being held, or treated in an inhumane way.

The accused is guaranteed the right of not being unfairly held. In most states, an individual may not be held for longer than 48 hours without being charged. Any time in excess of that may fall in a breach of one’s civil rights. The arraignment process will provide a clear reading of the charges against the individual and enter their plea before a judge.

Civil rights are a matter of the utmost importance and serve as a check on the power of arresting authorities. Consultation with legal counsel may be in order if you feel your civil rights have been violated during the arresting process. That representative will be able to take a closer look at the specific situation to determine if there was a violation.

Paszynsky Associates is a professional law firm with more than 10 years of successful lawyer practice. Do not hesitate, but visit experienced criminal defense firm in New York.
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