Under the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution, no American citizen can be forced to testify against themselves (what is commonly referred to as the right to remain silent). In practical terms, this means that if someone is forced to give a confession against their will, that confession can be deemed inadmissible in court. But what exactly can make a confession involuntary, legally speaking?
The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution states that no U.S. citizen can be subject to an unreasonable search or seizure without a warrant backed by probable cause. This fundamental protection is core to protecting the rights of American citizens from potential abuse by law enforcement. But what exactly is “probable cause,” and what happens when police conduct a search or seizure without it? Continue reading “When Do the Police Have Probable Cause to Conduct a Search?”
It is estimated that approximately 90 to 95% of all criminal cases end with a defendant taking a plea deal. As a result, shockingly few cases ever make it to trial, regardless of the merits of a defendant’s case. But what is it that determines whether taking a plea deal is a good idea, and when is it potentially better to go to trial?