Constitutional Issues in Prince William County Criminal Cases
The following is taken from an interview with Prince William County criminal defense lawyer Matthew Crowley as he discusses what constitutional issues people in Virginia. Call today to schedule a consultation and discuss your case.
Issues With the Judicial System
The main problem with the criminal justice system as it currently operates is that it is stacked against defendants. At the point a person has a criminal charge brought against them, the prosecution has the full support, backing, and resources which are available to the government and this include numerous prosecutors, numerous police, the ability to investigate, the ability to conduct forensics test. A person finds themselves faced with the entire weight of the government opposed to them when they are defending a criminal charge.
The best solution is to even the odds. The odds are stacked against you in every criminal case. It’s critical that you even the odds by having at your side an experienced lawyer who has local knowledge as well as a large depth and breadth of experience in many criminal cases. And it’s very important that that individual is located in a law firm that focuses on criminal defense. This is the only way that a person can hope to have the fairest outcome and the fairest process possible in the course of a criminal trial.
Constitutional Issues That May Arise
There are a number of constitutional issues that come up in Prince William County cases. The Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh amendments to the United States Constitution all deal with individuals’ rights and these individual rights frequently come up in criminal cases.
For example, the Fourth Amendment guarantees the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. It is often the case that there are searches that take place in the course of an investigation or an arrest which may be illegal. There are often issues as to whether arrests or “stop and frisks” of a person are proper.
Whether these things are proper can affect the outcome of a case dramatically because if they’re found to not be proper then whatever evidence the police find, with some exceptions, subsequent to either the illegal seizure of the person or the illegal search of an individual or their belongings, their car, their home, these things will all be kept out of evidence at a trial.
The other constitutional issues which are frequently are the Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights to counsel at every stage of the process as well as the right not to be compelled to incriminate one’s self, which is guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment. And then finally, of course, the Seventh Amendment is in play in felony cases because individuals do have a right to have their cases be heard by a jury of their peers.
Impact of Constitutional Issues
Constitutional issues can have a profound impact on the case. If a person’s constitutional rights have been violated at any phase of their arrest, investigation, or during the course of any trial, then it is possible that the criminal charges may either be reduced or dismissed entirely depending on the factual situation.
It’s important to review your case with experienced counsel so that each of these issues can be analyzed because they can potentially come up in any criminal case.