Getting arrested in North Carolina may not have been a plan of yours. Unfortunately, this type of situation recently befell you, and now, you wonder what to do. You likely have a pending court date to address the charges brought against you if released on bail or bond. Though the court date may be weeks or even months away, it is not a time to become complacent. After all, the charges will not magically disappear during that time.
However, you can take steps to create a criminal defense that may help you give reason to the court as to why it should reduce or drop the charges. Part of your preparation could be going over the situation that led to your arrest, how officers acted during the arrest and whether they may have violated any of your legal rights during the process.
Police have a duty to follow the rules
Though it may not always seem like it, police officers have an obligation to follow certain rules and procedures when conducting an investigation and making an arrest. Those procedures typically include:
- Making an arrest after having observed a crime, after having probable cause to suspect a person carried out criminal activity or after acting on an arrest warrant provided by a judge.
- Informing the suspect of his or her Miranda Rights before conducting an interrogation.
- Avoiding cruel punishment and the use of excessive force.
Of course, the exact procedures that police officers must follow can vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. As a result, if you believe that an officer may have violated your rights, it is always worth looking into further. You may find that an officer violated your rights, broke protocol or took other unlawful steps that may make your arrest or any evidence gathered against you inadmissible in court.
Building your defense
In some cases, having evidence that an officer violated a suspect’s rights can be enough to build a solid defense against allegations. However, if evidence of violations does not exist, it does not necessarily mean you are out of luck. Other circumstances could help you defend against the charges you face as you work toward the most favorable outcome for your predicament. As always, it is important to remember that you are innocent until — and only if — a court of law proves otherwise.