Protecting Your Freedom.
Prior to charging someone with a crime, the police or other government agencies will typically conduct an investigation. People subject to inquiries regarding criminal activity are often uncertain about their rights and the extent to which they must cooperate with the authorities. There are limitations to the scope of criminal investigations, though. If the police violate a person’s rights while seeking evidence of a crime, it may hinder the State’s ability to prosecute the person for an offense. If you are the target of a criminal investigation, it is smart to speak to an attorney promptly.
Ellen K. Michaels is a capable Detroit criminal defense lawyer who can inform you about your options and help you fight to protect your rights. She represents people throughout the Detroit metro area, including in Wayne, Macomb, Oakland, and Monroe Counties.Criminal Investigations Under Michigan Law
When the police or federal agencies believe that a crime has been committed, they will typically conduct an investigation. While they are permitted to gather evidence and eyewitness statements that may help them determine if unlawful conduct has occurred, there are processes that they must follow during their inquiries. For example, they typically must obtain a warrant to conduct a search or arrest someone. To get a warrant, they need to present a court with an affidavit, setting forth the reasons why they believe that there is probable cause that a crime has been committed, so a search warrant should be granted. If the court determines that there is probable cause, it will issue a warrant to search the place where the thing, person, or property is located.Constitutional Rights
Parties who are subject to criminal investigations are afforded numerous rights under the Constitution. It is important to note that people do not need to be charged with a crime in order to assert their rights; instead, their rights run from the beginning of the investigation onward.
One of the key rights granted by the Fifth Amendment is the right against self-incrimination. This means not only that people cannot be compelled to testify against themselves at trial but also that they cannot be forced to answer any questions or make statements that would implicate them in a crime. As a result, people who are interrogated by the police have the right to refuse to answer questions. People also have the right to be represented by counsel pursuant to the Sixth Amendment. In other words, even before any charges have been filed, a person has the right to an attorney.
The Fourth Amendment protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures. This means, in part, that they cannot be arrested or detained without a warrant or a reasonable suspicion that they committed crimes. It also means that absent exigent circumstances, neither their property nor they can be searched without a warrant. Even if the police have a warrant, they do not have leeway to search any part of a person’s property. Instead, they must comply with the scope of the warrant and only search those areas indicated. If the police violate a person’s Fourth Amendment rights, the person can argue that the search or arrest was unlawful, and the prosecution should be barred from using any evidence obtained during the process during a criminal trial against the individual. In many instances, when evidence gathered during an illegal search in the Detroit area or elsewhere in Michigan is suppressed, it will result in a dismissal of the charges.Consult a Skillful Michigan Lawyer
People who are investigated by the police or other government agencies have numerous rights, and it is important that they know and understand them prior to speaking to the authorities. If you are under investigation for a crime, you should meet with an attorney as soon as possible. Ellen K. Michaels can assist you in safeguarding your interests throughout the process of the investigation. Attorney Michaels has offices in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Bloomfield Hills, and West Bloomfield, and she often aids people being investigated for crimes in Macomb, Wayne, Oakland, and Monroe Counties, and throughout Southeast Michigan. Attorney Michaels can be contacted at (248) 202-3345 or through the form online to set up a meeting.