New York City Criminal Attorneys Discuss “Arrests”
Your ARREST occurs after law enforcement makes a decision that there is enough evidence in a case for what is known as “probable cause.” This may be due to a police investigation, a routine traffic stop that results in “evidence” being uncovered, or a warrant has been served from another state.
When you are arrested the police will attempt to receive a confession from you prior to your having an attorney present. You do NOT have to speak. You have a right to both your silence and the absolute best New York City criminal attorney at your disposal.
When the 4th Amendment to the Constitution was written, the rights of our citizens were at the forefront of our founding father’s minds. The constitutional congressmen all had experience dealing with or knew someone who had dealt with unreasonable searches and seizures in other countries. Keep in mind that before the Revolutionary War, British foreign armies had invaded American soil and were claiming they had the right to do this to our citizens because we were, in fact, a colony belonging to Great Britain.
British soldiers had rights handed down from the monarchy, and written under the Writ of Assistance during the Revolutionary War. If you lived on land the British wanted to control, it was their way or the highway. Everything you owned was really the possession of the monarchy. Soldiers often abused Americans, forcing them to give up anything their army wanted and needed, including homes, food and money they collected in taxes.
Before long, Americans had their fill of tyranny and took action. After all, a struggling new land couldn’t afford to be man handled and abused by a bully big brother. So, the Declaration of Independence was written and a massive war broke out. At a great cost of life, America won the war. We became an independent nation. We formed the constitution in an effort to form a more perfect union between the government and its citizens.
One of the most important amendments to the constitution is the 4th amendment, or law. It states:
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.
In other words, before police can get a warrant to search your home, they need a reason to do so. A judge must look over the warrant and give permission to the police to perform the search before they proceed. If police unlawfully search your home, office or vehicle any evidence they discovered may not be permitted in court. Unlawful searches and seizures are taken very seriously in New York, and many cases have been thrown out of court because police violated the defendant’s constitutional rights.
There are exceptions to this law. If you are driving your car down the street and are pulled over for swerving all over the road, the police have probably cause to immediately search your vehicle. Unsafe driving, the scent of drugs or criminal paraphernalia left in plain sight also gives police probably cause to search your vehicle. Also, if an officer is in “hot pursuit” of a criminal, they may forego the warrant process.
Only after police have probable cause can they make an arrest. Law enforcement agencies rarely make an arrest if they don’t feel they can win. When they have probable cause, it means that they believe they have enough evidence built up against you to put you in prison.
Upon your arrest, police will interrogate you. A good New York City criminal attorney will tell you not to say a word until they arrive. Your Miranda Rights guarantee that you do NOT have to speak to the police and you have the right to an attorney.
If you or a loved one has been arrested, you must act quickly. Criminal charges are always a serious situation in New York that can lead to severe penalties and potentially long periods of JAIL TIME.