Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

What do I do if the police violated my rights at the time of my arrest?

Posted on: May 26, 2007 at 12:43 a.m.

A defense attorney seeks to exclude evidence obtained as a result of police misconduct. At times, police misconduct occurs in searches that occur during ordinary traffic stops, or in a suspect's home. Additionally, if law enforcement is too aggressive trying to obtain an incriminating statement from a suspect, it may violate the suspect's Miranda right. Litigation in the criminal courts allows a defense lawyer to protect his client's rights by submitting motions to the judge seeking to exclude the recovered evidence, or received statements, from trial. Often a successful motion to suppress cripples the prosecutor's case, causing the case to either be dismissed, or substantially reduced in plea negotiations.

Tagged as: faq, motion to dismiss unlawful police search


Kelsey Kernstine on October 22, 2007 at 12:45 p.m. wrote:

I wanted to go over the hypertechnicality cases in the course reader because it is hard for me to understand that these people are set free to go even though they are found to be guilty. I understand that in each of these cases, the trials were not fair due to the Miranda rule or the two exta jurors. However, I do not understand if these defendents were clearly guilty or confessed to their crimes, how could they be set free just because a certain rule or more jurors? All in all, they committed a crime, shouldn't they be punished no matter what? For example, the lady with the marijuana plants, the police searched her home without letting her know that she could say 'no' to the search and therefore she was let go without punishment. I disagree with this rule. I think that we, as American citizens should know our rights for ourselves. If someone is going to commit a crime, they should know in advance what the they can and cannot say or can and cannot do. I think it is the woman's fault in this case for not knowing that she has a choice to say 'yes' or 'no' to her house beng searched. More importantly, she committed a crime and should not be ' let off the hook' due to the police misconduct in this case. I think that if this woman is not punished for her illegal actions, she is likely to keep performing them.

Eric T. on June 15, 2007 at 12:03 p.m. wrote:

In response to reporting a violation of one's rights, I question how one can prove this. How will the defense attorney prove to the judge or jury that an officer actually went outside his/her bounds? Does the state not believe the police before an average citizen?

Eric T. on June 12, 2007 at 1:12 a.m. wrote:

In response to Paris Hilton's sentencing, I have been researching both the legal and social issues that have surfaced. The following is an excerpt that preludes my original question. Superior Court Judge Michael T. Sauer was apparently unmoved by the pleas of Hilton's three lawyers to send her back to home confinement due to an unspecified medical condition. He ordered Hilton returned to a Los Angeles County jail to serve out the remainder of her 45-day sentence for violating probation in an alcohol-related reckless driving case. The sheriff later hinted at a news conference that Hilton had psychological problems, and said she would be watched in jail 'so that there isn't anything that is harmfully done to herself by herself.' Note information taken from: http://www.cnn.com/2007/SHOWBIZ/TV/06/08/paris.hilton.ap/index.html?eref=rss_showbiz

Law Blog on June 2, 2007 at 1:33 p.m. wrote:

Entrapment laws focus on protecting a Defendant who was otherwise a law-abiding citizen, and was duped to commit criminal wrongdoing by undercover police officers' 'sweet' offer to participate. For example, undercover police officers offer a defendant a lot of money to take drugs south of the border. The defense could argue that but for the police enticement or entrapment the defendant would not have done the crime, and thus should be acquitted of charges related to narcotics trafficing.

Law Blog on June 2, 2007 at 1:28 p.m. wrote:

Miranda rights were recognized by the United States Supreme Court after many forced and unreliable confessions were obtained in the pre-1960's south, where many blacks were coerced to make false incriminating statements by white police officers. In the present day, Miranda rights must be read before a suspect's statement is taken - otherwise the statements are not admissible in court. Officers employ many strategies to 'soften' up or 'butter' up a suspect, before reading him the rights, to establish a rapport, to make it seem that it is in his or her interest to make a statement, and that the rights are not a big deal. This way the officers get a suspect to open up, and have him commit to what happened leading to the arrest, so that later in court the suspect will have limited options for defense strategies.

Elina Barrie on June 1, 2007 at 5:08 p.m. wrote:

I know that the Miranda rights have been a debated issue, more specifically in cases when the suspect makes a confession voluntarily, without being coerced or even prompted to do so. What is the current stance that most judges take? Will such a voluntary confession be deemed inadmissible if a suspect is not explicitly informed of his/her rights beforehand?

Vasyl G. on May 30, 2007 at 10:20 p.m. wrote:

Can you please explain in some detail what entrapment is? Does this coincide with violating my rights?

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