How to Handle Being Arrested For a Drug Crime in Dallas
If you’ve been arrested for a drug crime in Texas, it’s important to know exactly what your rights are. Moving forward in your case without knowing your rights can result in mistakes that harm your chances of a favorable verdict in court. Explore this guide to get to know your constitutional rights and ensure that they aren’t violated at any time.
Knowing Your Constitutional Rights
Once you’ve been arrested and charged with a crime, you’re considered a criminal defendant. The U.S. constitution includes certain rights that are designed to protect you during this stressful time. It’s essential to know these rights throughout the process of being arrested and questioned so you don’t accidentally incriminate yourself.
Some of the most important rights you have as a defendant include:
Protection from Unreasonable Searches and Seizures
The fourth amendment protects all defendants from being searched without probable cause. In other words, a police officer can’t just randomly search you or your property without warning — they either need a warrant from the court or a clearly valid reason to search (such as illegal drugs that are visible in your home or a weapon that’s visible in your clothes).
This is to ensure that any illegally obtained evidence can’t be used against you in court. Keep in mind that if you give the cop permission to search you, this protection won’t hold up.
The Right to Remain Silent
You may have noticed that when people get arrested in movies or on TV, they’re often told that they have the right to remain silent. This is part of your Miranda Rights, which must be read to you by the officer at the time they arrest you.
Any statements you make or details you discuss with police can be used against you in court, so it’s essential that you’re aware of your right to remain silent and exercise it.
The Right to Representation
Every criminal defendant is entitled to legal representation. If you can’t afford a lawyer, the court will appoint a public defender to handle your case and ensure your rights are protected in court. It’s also crucial to keep in mind that if you’re being questioned by police, you don’t have to answer anything until your lawyer is present and can advise you on how to proceed.
The Right to a Speedy Trial
The right to a speedy trial is designed to ensure that you’re tried shortly after your arrest, rather than being held in prison for a lengthy time period before the trial takes place. If you believe that this right has been violated, don’t hesitate to speak to an attorney.
The Right Against Double Jeopardy
If you’ve been tried for a crime, the constitution makes it illegal to try you again for the same crime. Whether you’re found guilty or innocent in the verdict, you can’t be re-tried unless the charges are all new. This is to prevent biased or unfair trials and make sure that valid acquittals can’t be overturned.
The Right to a Public Jury Trial
Anyone who is arrested in the U.S. is entitled to a trial by a jury of their own peers. You can’t be sentenced to prison or other punishments without a grand jury verdict that’s upheld by the presiding judge.
Hire Phillip A. Linder for Top Quality Representation in Court
With over 25 years of experience on both sides of the courts in Texas, our Dallas criminal defense attorney understands the stresses that clients go through when they’re being charged with a crime. Hire Phillip A. Linder and you’ll be putting decades of real experience on your side. Contact our Dallas law firm today to schedule a free consultation.