The U.S. Constitution provides people with many rights, including criminal law protections. Some of these protections may be used to defend a person who is accused of a crime.
There are some key U.S. Constitutional amendment protections that are helpful to understand. The Fourth Amendment protects people from law enforcement searches or seizures without a warrant or probable cause. This means that law enforcement must reasonably believe a crime has been committed.
The Fifth Amendment protects people from being persuaded to make a statement that incriminates them and grants them the right to a fair trial. The Sixth Amendment guarantees rights to accused people, including the right to a speedy and public trial, as well as a right to have a lawyer represent them.
The Eighth Amendment protects against cruel and unusual punishment. They can’t be given excessive bail or fines and must be treated humanely in custody. Finally, the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees equal protection. Accused people cannot be treated differently based on their race or gender in criminal proceedings.
If the accused person’s rights were violated under any of these protections, they may be able to use that as a defense to the crime. The accused person can challenge the admissibility of evidence if the search or seizure was unconstitutional.
If they were denied the right to an attorney, any statements they made without one may be excluded.
If the accused person was arrested based on their race, religion or other protected category, they may be able to use that to challenge the fairness of the prosecution.
The defenses used will vary depending on the case, but there is help available.