Clients sometimes think that their Constitutional rights were denied and ask our St. Augustine criminal defense lawyer what they should do. The following information provides an overview of how your attorney might handle specific issues with your case.
Determining Probable Cause
Law enforcement officers need to have a legitimate reason or probable cause in order to legally arrest a person. Probable cause means that the authorities reasonably think that a person committed a crime, resulting in the alleged offender’s arrest. If there is a question about probable cause, you have the right to a court hearing to determine probable cause, usually in less than 48 hours. In some cases, the court might have sanctioned a warrant, so probable cause was determined at that time.
Dealing with Excessive Delays in a Criminal Case
Your St. Augustine criminal defense lawyer might take the following steps if the courts or the prosecution delayed in providing you with a probable cause review.
- Filing a writ of habeas corpus – Your attorney might file a writ of habeas corpus in order to secure your release. However, the process is time-consuming as he or she needs to draw up the paperwork and wait for the hearing to be scheduled. By that time, you might have been released. Instead, your St. Augustine criminal defense lawyer might decide to make some telephone calls up the chain of command, all the way to the supervising prosecutor or even to the judge in the case when necessary. Your attorney will explain the circumstances of the case to the judge, who will look at how the court can avoid any litigation as he or she works to expedite your hearing and your case.
- Federal civil rights violations – Your lawyer might file a lawsuit alleging federal civil rights violations against the police, prosecutors and the court system. Just the threat of legal action will likely bring relief since anyone held liable will need to pay your legal and related fees if you win the case.
- Suppressing evidence in a confession and related statements – You might not be able to hire an attorney in time to seek relief for a habeas corpus writ or to file a civil rights lawsuit. Even so, any delays in an appearance before the magistrate or the judge at an initial appearance could still negatively impact the prosecution’s case. For example, the authorities might delay your appearance because they are trying to convince you to confess. However, if the court later determines that the delay is illegal, the confession and any related statements will not be admitted in court and cannot be used against you.
- Seeking release on bail – The courts look at the totality of the situation when granting bail and when determining a final bail amount for your release. If your lawyer addresses this delay, the judge might reduce bail in the case due to the prosecution’s questionable actions.
Call Our St. Augustine Criminal Defense Lawyer
Our St. Augustine criminal defense lawyer at Canan Law can challenge and address any denial of your Constitutional rights. Call (904) 824-9402 today.