Interacting with Law Enforcement Officials
This day and age, there is heightened tension between law enforcement and the general public. Being aware of your rights and how to safely invoke them are critical during your exchanges with law enforcement officers. The following are some of the common areas of contention that arise during the life of a criminal case:
- The Fourth Amendment protects an individual’s right to privacy and their right to be free from unreasonable intrusions by the government, such as searches and seizures.
- The Fifth Amendment protects and individual’s right against self incrimination – saying anything that could potentially incriminate themselves.
- The Sixth Amendment guarantees a citizen a speedy trial, a fair ad impartial jury, an attorney if the accused person wants one, and the chance to confront witnesses who are accusing the defendant of the crime.
- An officer may enter your home with only a VALID warrant, your permission, or exigent circumstances.
- If law enforcement is investigating your workplace, then your employer must also give permission as well.
- The search warrant must be executed within 10 days of its issuance or it becomes void. It may only be executed between the hours of 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. unless the judge finds a good reason to authorize service at other times.
- If an officer does not have a warrant to search, then it is okay to say no.
- Search warrant: Must be issued and signed by a judge to be valid. This is to ensure that a neutral, detached individual evaluates the circumstances prior to law enforcement searching the area. The judge must reasonably believe that the crime has been committed and that evidence of that crime is likely to be found in that place(s).
- Arrest warrant: This is usually issued when criminal charges have been filed, and it authorizes the police to arrest the person on the charges. Before the warrant is issued, an investigation by law enforcement is conducted. Once the investigation uncovers probability that an individual has committed a crime, the police will obtain a formal document signed by a judge requesting their arrest. Law enforcement officers may arrive at the individual’s home or workplace to make the arrest.
It is often the case that an unreasonable search and seizure by law enforcement can lead to evidentiary flaws in the prosecution’s case. A skilled and experienced attorney will be able to determine if an individual’s constitutional rights or any other protection afforded to them has been violated by law enforcement. Contact our attorneys at The Nieves Law Firm today at (510)-588-8580 to explore the potential legal deficiencies in your case.