Understanding Your Rights in a Criminal Law Case
Addison, IL Criminal Defense Lawyers Who Stand Up for Your Rights
When Congress assembled for the first time in 1789, one of its top priorities was to enact a series of laws that made a clear statement about individual rights. Today, the Bill of Rights remains as a powerful bulwark that restricts the power of the state. Despite the messages that may appear on television, state prosecutors are not always really interested in justice. Although the great majority of prosecutors are honest, there are a few whose singular focus is to obtain convictions, even if individual rights are neglected in that process. So, Congress, and later the states, guaranteed them in writing. But despite the importance of these principles, many people are unsure of their rights when they are involved in a criminal case.
Right to an Attorney
The Sixth Amendment guarantees the right to counsel, and a lawyer must be an effective advocate in court. At Stringini & Garvey, P.C., we take this right one step further. We firmly believe you also have the right to a responsive attorney. We promptly respond to your phone calls and e-mails; we typically answer these inquiries in under 24 hours. We are also available on a constant basis to both existing and new clients. Furthermore, all new clients know our fees upfront. There are no surprises because we know that your time and money are valuable resources. Our attorneys have more than 65 years of collective experience, and we leverage that experience in the courtroom and around the negotiating table.
Right to Remain Silent
Under the Fifth Amendment, you have an absolute right to remain silent and not answer any questions posed by a police officer, a lawyer for the state, or any other figure. Your rights take effect the moment you see the flashing police car lights in your rear view mirror. As a practical matter, we suggest that people comply with reasonable requests (license and registration, please) and politely refuse to answer any questions.
The right to silence extends to DUI chemical and field tests. You have the right to refuse a breath or blood test, as well as the right to refuse to perform the field tests. There may be a drivers license suspension hearing as a result of your refusal, but that is a separate administrative matter. We provide effective representation in this area, in addition to the criminal charge.
The Fourth Amendment often comes into play in drug cases. Except in limited circumstance, the police may not enter your home or search your vehicle without a warrant. In other words, unless an exception applies, when an officer asks for permission to search your car, you have the right to say no politely, in some cases.
Pretrial Matters and Sentencing
Under the Eighth Amendment, you have the right to a reasonable bail before trial. If you are in jail, you have the right to medical care, fair treatment, and freedom from excessive force. Finally, any sentence imposed cannot be unduly burdensome for you or your family. For example, in a probation or parole revocation hearing, it is arguably illegal to put a person in jail simply for nonpayment of fees.
An effective defense in criminal court begins with the exercise of your individual rights. For aggressive representation, contact Stringini & Garvey, P.C. at 630-834-9595. We assist criminal defense clients in DuPage, DeKalb, Kendall, McHenry, Cook, Kane, Lake, and Will Counties. Se habla Español.