What to Do When Your Constitutional Rights Are Violated
The United States of America is governed by our constitution. The document was written soon after the country was founded and has been amended many times over the centuries to keep up with cultural changes. All citizens of the U.S. have rights guaranteed by the constitution, as well as the constitutions of the states in which they reside. When those rights are violated, then it not only leaves you in a difficult situation, but also puts our entire democracy at risk.
Seeking the proper avenues to hold those who violated your rights accountable for their actions is incredibly important, not just for yourself, but for America as a whole.
Your Rights Under the Constitution
Our government designed our constitutional rights to protect citizens and keep government officials from overreaching beyond the scope of their powers. The first amendment, for example, guarantees you the right to free speech without fear of punishment or censorship from the government, excluding a few key exceptions such as causing panic or placing others in danger.
When it comes to investigations and criminal charges, the government, whether that be in the form of local police or a government agency, must follow certain rules that pertain to your constitutional rights. You may not be denied legal counsel if you have requested it. A warrant, or reasonable cause, must be present before they can search your property or seize evidence. If an officer of law breaks into your home without legal cause, then the evidence they take cannot legally be used against you.
Many other rights could be violated during an investigation and trial. If you feel you have had your constitutional rights stripped from you, there are a few steps you should follow when seeking justice.
When Your Rights Are Violated
It can be difficult to know what to do after an officer violates your rights. If the government is at fault, then who do you call in order to rectify the situation and report the perpetrator? Well, there are several avenues you can take to achieve justice.
Do research: There are exceptions to many constitutional rights, such as the exceptions to the first amendment we mentioned above. If you are unfamiliar with the law, it may be a good idea to do some quick research to confirm that your rights were truly violated during your investigation or trial.
Contact an attorney: If you confirmed that your rights were violated, or if you could not find a clear answer, you should contact a knowledgeable attorney. We can negotiate with the federal agency investigating you to have the charges dismissed, defend you at trial, and build a case against the person(s) who violated your constitutional rights. With any attorney you speak with, you will want to review their previous case results to determine if they have defended clients in a similar position to you.
Bring it before a judge: For someone within the government or justice system to face penalties for their conduct, you will likely have to bring your case to a judge who will review it and issue a ruling.
Defending someone against evidence that was seized illegally, or who was originally denied proper legal counsel, can be difficult for some attorneys. It is a high-stress situation that requires a great deal of know-how and experience. But each of the Los Angeles criminal trial attorneys at Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP is well-versed in defending their clients’ rights, which is why we may be the best representation for your case. If someone violated your constitutional rights during a criminal investigation or trial, call us at (213) 688-0460. Everyone deserves fair and legal treatment. Don’t settle for anything less.