Criminal Defense, Constitutional Rights Arrest Constitutional Rights Essay

Length: 7 pages Sources: 5 Subject: Criminal Justice Type: Essay Paper: #89500055 Related Topics: Constitutional Amendments, Constitutional, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law
Excerpt from Essay :

¶ … Criminal Defense, Constitutional Rights Arrest

Constitutional Rights Before and After Arrest

Constitutional Rights are essential when considering a person's relationship with the authorities before and after his or her arrest. These rights practically guarantee that the individual is presented with a fair treatment. There has been much controversy regarding Constitutional Rights in the recent years, as people became confused concerning the rights of suspected criminals and the government's interest to protect the nation. Constitutional Amendments are basically meant to protect people before they are arrested.

Courts from around the country often deal with cases related to the level of authority that the police had to detain particular citizens. Police officers sometimes take advantage of the fact that they can stretch legal concepts with the purpose of producing justification for certain actions they commit before or after arrest.

Present-day conditions regarding Constitutional Rights are alarming, given that the authorities sometimes fail to effectively implement laws. This typically happens when the suspect involved is considered extremely dangerous and when it would be more efficient to use unorthodox means (Ciarelli, 2003). It is perfectly normal for a police officer to put across disbelief, as he or she comes across difficult situations on a daily basis. Normal civilians in general have trouble understanding police officers and what motivates them. "Society grants the police a monopoly on the use of violence. Only they may bludgeon, subdue, Mace, or even kill legally. This exclusive right adds enormously to their powers to search, seize, detain, question, arrest, or investigate people they deem suspicious" (Bouza, 1990, p. 6).

Many people mistakenly consider that one's rights are no longer important consequent to the moment when he or she has been arrested. Not only do individuals have to acknowledge their rights after they have been arrested, as they actually have to do everything in their power to make full use of those respective rights. People should remain silent until they talk to an attorney, as they risk greatly by disclosing particular information to the authorities.

Regardless of the gravity related to one's crime, the respective person has to be allowed the right to exercise a series of privileges. "The fundamental rights that must be recognized and protection irrespective of demands of security or "public order" include the "inherent right to life," freedom from "torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment," freedom from "slavery and abolishment of the slave trade," no ex post facto law or punishment for violating a law that was crafted after arrest, no imprisonment for not fulfilling a contractual obligation, right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law, and right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion" (Gibson, 1991, p. 142). Depending on the area where one was located, the respective person risked being presented with little to no rights. The authorities were reported to discriminate individuals on the basis of their background on several occasions, with these people being denied a series of rights.

The government has to implement constitutional rights carefully, so as for it not to influence innocent people by presenting criminals with rights that allow them to evade justice. Also, the government needs to make sure that all people, not considering the crime for which they are suspected, should be protected under the Bill of Rights and the United States Constitution. It is thus very problematic for the authorities...


Even with the fact that one is likely to be intimidated by police officers and by their questioning, suspects need to understand that it is their right to remain silent and that this will play an essential part in their trial.

Although one can exercise his or her right to remain silent, this is probable to be detrimental when considering someone who is innocent. By refusing to cooperate with the authorities, one indirectly recognizes his crime and that he is in need of counseling meant to help him evaluate his options. Police officers have no right to question the suspect once he or she demanded to see an attorney. Many people incriminate themselves by answering questions that they initially consider to be of no relevance to the case. The attorney has enough knowledge to evade such questions or to advise his customer to refrain from answering them.

Many police officers were reported to use their authority wrongly and some have actually gone as far as performing acts that they had no right of doing. Some individuals consider that police officers have full authority over a suspect, regardless if the respective person is under arrest or not. A police officer has no right to search someone if they have not arrested him or her, if they have no warrant to do so, or if the person under question did not consented with the act. The degree to which police officers can exercise their rights depends on the suspect, as it is up to him or her to decide whether they want to collaborate with the authorities or if they want a lawyer to assist them being relieved of the charges. An innocent person is considered more likely to experience no problems in the case that he or she is involved by waiving his or her rights, as this saves them time and makes the authorities reconsider their suspects (Fridell, 2006, p. 57).

The U.S. Criminal Law relates to how police officers need to establish "probable cause" before attempting to arrest a suspect. The authorities virtually have to be in possession of sufficient evidence in order for them to be able to apprehend a suspect. Police officers are in some cases (such as a situation where violence is involved) unable to present a suspect with the Miranda rights. However, there are also cases where the authorities express lack of interest concerning the suspect's rights and fail from assisting him or her in exercising them. "Once a suspect has arrived at the station they are metaphorically surrounded by a web of procedural law designed to safeguard their rights, but which, many researchers argue, are systematically undermined by the very people charged with this responsibility" (Waddington, 1999, p. 142).

In spite of the fact that the legislation relating to how police officers were required to present suspects with the right to speak with an attorney was passed in the 1980s, it appears that people still have trouble exercising their rights. Most suspects arrested by the authorities express little to no interest in speaking to a lawyer. This is due to a series of factors, ranging from their certainty that they are able to prove their innocence to their lack of trust in attorneys. Many people are actually charged with heavy sentences as a result of their failure to correctly exploit their rights (Waddington, 1999, p. 142). Even with the fact that some get important advice from their attorneys, most of those who demand to see a lawyer end up receiving the same sentence that they would have received without consulting an attorney.

People often ignore their rights because they consider that doing so will save them important time. Some express no hesitation about being searched on the street or about speaking with police officers before, and, respectively, after they were arrested. These individuals do so because they are aware of the fact that acting against the authorities is likely to be time-consuming and stressing. Moreover, certain suspects actually ask for advice from police officers in hope that this would generate positive results.

Even though such a situation seems beneficial both for the authorities and for the suspect, police officers have diverse tactics that they use with the purpose of having the suspect confess his or her crime. Encouraging a suspect to sit in an empty cell for an hour or even more as he or she waits for his or her attorney is likely to have a severe effect on the individual. Thus, while the suspect actually thinks that it would be wiser for him or her to wait for a lawyer, it is particularly detrimental for them to do so in particular circumstances.

The government and court official generally acknowledge the fact that getting a suspected criminal to confess is the most important part of a case. Even with the fact that a case can last for months, it would be much more effective for it to end faster. Police officers have to be able to deal with Constitutional Rights in order for them to determine a suspect's accountability. The authorities are entitled to use pressure as a means of getting a suspect to confess but they must refrain from using coercion with the purpose of intimidating the suspect. It is very important for suspects to be familiar with their Constitutional Rights, as they risk incriminating themselves if they do not exercise them (Fridell, 2006, p.…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works cited:

Bouza, Anthony V. The Police Mystique: An Insider's Look at Cops, Crime, and the Criminal Justice System (Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing, 1990)

Ciarelli, Sara "Pre-Arrest Silence: Minding That Gap between Fourth Amendment Stops and Fifth Amendment Custody," Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 93.2-3 (2003)

Fridell, Ron Miranda Law: The Right to Remain Silent (New York: Marshall Cavendish Benchmark, 2006)

Gibson, John S. International Organizations, Constitutional Law, and Human Rights (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1991)

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