Being approached by police officers can be nerve-racking in itself, let alone if you have been identified as a suspect. If you have been accused of a criminal offense and taken into custody, then your own conduct could play a key role in your case.
While you may be innocent and eager to protest this openly in the first instance, this may not be in your best interests. Outlined below are some common forms of conduct that may actually harm your criminal case.
The police are not allowed to search you in an arbitrary or prejudiced manner. The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees that all citizens will be protected from unlawful search and seizures. For a search to be lawful, there must be a presence of reasonable suspicion. In other words, law enforcement must reasonably believe that a criminal offense has been committed or is in progress.
Occasionally, individuals are under the impression that they must do everything that law enforcement says, such as allowing entry to a dwelling or vehicle. This is not the case. In most scenarios, law enforcement must have a valid warrant before doing so.
It is only natural to adamantly protest your innocence if accused of a crime you did not commit. Strangely, it is typically not in your best interests to do this. If law enforcement has firmly identified you as a suspect, it is unlikely that your verbal communication skills will be enough to talk them around. The reality is that you could land yourself in even more trouble. It is very easy to get dates or times mixed up, especially when under pressure. If you make an honest mistake, both law enforcement and a jury could see it as an indication of dishonesty.
If you are facing criminal charges, it is vital to remember that the onus is on the prosecution to prove that you are guilty. It is also in your best interests to gain a firm understanding of your legal rights in Texas.