If you have been arrested on a felony or misdemeanor charge, a conversation with a Cape Cod criminal defense attorney regarding the details of your situation is crucial in preventing your rights under the United States Constitution from being violated. During the arrest and investigative stage of proceedings, one of the most important of these rights is the right under the Fourth Amendment to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. Generally speaking, this means that officers must secure a search warrant to search your vehicle or residence unless one of the limited exceptions established by caselaw is present.
During trial, you have a Sixth Amendment right to the assistance of counsel, as well as the right to a jury trial and the right to cross-examine witnesses presented by the government in its case against you. The Sixth Amendment also guarantees those accused of criminal activity the right to be informed of the charges being brought against them and the right to a “speedy” trial.
Once a conviction has taken place, a criminal defendant is protected against cruel and unusual treatment by the Eighth Amendment. Knowing your legal rights at each step of a criminal case is important, as law enforcement must be kept in check lest they overstep their bounds. Continue reading