The news is full of horrifying evidence of law enforcement officers acting in racist ways. As we’ve so tragically seen, racist attitudes and racial profiling can lead to unfair arrests, charges, convictions, and even unlawful deaths.
Racial profiling is an unlawful and discriminatory practice in which law enforcement officers target or suspect someone of a crime because of that person’s race, ethnicity, religion, or national origin. Racial profiling can refer to a situation where an officer stops, pulls over, or arrests an individual because of that individual’s race – instead of the reason being actual evidence of a crime or valid cause to suspect a crime.
Are you facing accusations? As an aggressive criminal defense team in Naples, FL, we’re here to support you. A criminal defense attorney isn’t just there to fight to reduce penalties for crimes committed, but also to defend the innocence of individuals who are charged with crimes they didn’t commit! The team at the Law Offices of Michael M. Raheb is on your side!
Keep reading to understand what to do if you’re unfairly arrested or charged with crimes – and how to handle your case if you suspect racial profiling.
Most Important Steps To Take
While unjust behavior from law enforcement naturally feels violating, it’s essential to remember that you do have rights! Utilizing your rights is the first step to take in successfully navigating your criminal defense case.
- Remember that you have the right to remain silent. The Fifth Amendment outlines your constitutional right to remain silent and avoid self-incrimination. Does this mean you can be totally silent during your arrest? In some cases, you must provide your name to the police if asked, but you have the legal right to remain silent if the police ask you other questions. However, according to a 2013 Supreme Court decision cited by Nolo, it’s a good idea to say something to invoke your constitutional rights. If you don’t invoke your rights, the police could try to use your silence as evidence of your guilt. Play it safe by saying something like “I want to invoke my constitutional right to remain silent” or “I invoke my privilege against self-incrimination.” Invoking the Fifth Amendment will – in theory – prevent something you say from being used against you in court. But if you remain silent, then what? Your next step is to break your silence by invoking another right.
- Utilize your right to legal counsel. The Sixth Amendment protects your right to legal assistance in a criminal case. This means you have the right to contact an attorney. You can invoke this right by saying something like “I invoke my right to legal counsel” or “I want to talk to an attorney before answering any questions,” or “I request to exercise my right to speak with an attorney.”
- Call a criminal defense attorney you can trust. Michael M. Raheb has extensive experience in criminal defense at both the Florida state law level and the federal system. He’s here to help you with every aspect of your case, to put your needs first, and to uncover the truth and convince the court.
What Defenses Are Available?
Once you exercise your right to legal counsel, an attorney can start working with you to build defenses in your favor. When it comes to arrests caused by racial profiling, one of the options available to you is called a motion to suppress.
Cornell Law School defines a motion to suppress as “a request made by a defendant in a criminal trial that the court refuse to allow a particular piece of evidence to be admitted at trial, because that evidence was obtained illegally or in violation of the defendant’s rights.”
If law officers stopped you because of your race and then they found evidence that led to your criminal charges – that evidence could be deemed unlawful to use in court because of the racial profiling that motivated the stop or arrest.
In addition to having your charges dropped, a criminal defense attorney can also help you explore the possibility of filing a lawsuit against any party who violated your rights or subjected you to racial discrimination.
Let’s Get Started
Even if you’re innocent, criminal charges can lead to convictions that can turn your life upside down. Or maybe you are guilty of a minor crime, but you are being accused of something much worse with far more negative penalties? At the Law Offices of Michael M. Raheb, we are committed to your best possible outcome! We’ll guide you through every step of your criminal defense case. All you need to do is call our Naples office at 239-226-0888 or send us a message online and we’ll take it from there.
2423 First Street,
Fort Myers FL 33901
Fax Number: 866-949-0888