Arrests are reaching historic levels throughout Chicago land, including in cities throughout DuPage and Kane Counties. When a person is arrested for a crime, they may be innocent or they may be guilty, but one thing is for sure: They have rights and the police must act within the law or the evidence can be deemed inadmissible in court.
How do you know if your rights are being violated during the course of an arrest? The answer involves your constitutional rights under the Fourth Amendment and the legal concepts of reasonable suspicion and probable cause.
- For a police officer, reasonable suspicion is more than just a hunch or a guess. It is suspicion, based on the facts and circumstances at hand, that a crime is being committed or is about to be committed. A police officer needs reasonable suspicion to pull your car over or to stop you on the street. If you were driving and obeying the rules of the road but the police officer pulled you over anyway, your constitutional rights may have been violated.
- Probable cause is stronger than reasonable suspicion. To have probable cause, a police officer must have facts and evidence that support the notion that you have committed a crime. A police officer must have probable cause before making an arrest or obtaining a search warrant.
In the heat and confusion of a stop or arrest, it can be hard to keep legal concepts in mind. The best thing you can do is be polite and courteous to the officer and keep a few simple facts in mind:
- You do not have to consent to a search.
- You have the right to remain silent.
- You have the right to an attorney. (The sooner you take advantage of this right, the better your chances of putting this criminal matter behind you and moving on with your life.)
What’s The Cost Of Not Knowing Your Rights?
The cost can be tremendous, because the decisions you make during and after an arrest will have a significant impact on the outcome. If you have been arrested for a drug offense, DWI, assault or any other crime in Illinois, the best decision you can make is to talk to a tough, intelligent criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. The police and prosecutors are not going to look out for you. Your defense attorney will.