PLAINTIFF CIVIL RIGHTS EXPLAINED BY A NEW MEXICO CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY
The media has repeatedly dramatized the Miranda rights, but what’s the significance? In 1963, Ernesto Miranda was taken into police custody on suspicion of kidnapping and rape and was placed in a lineup. After the lineup, the police interrogated Miranda, implying that he was positively identified. Without an attorney to advise him, Miranda confessed to his crimes. He signed a written confession which included the statement that he was confessing “with full knowledge of my legal rights.” In reality, Miranda was not advised of his fifth and sixth amendment rights to an attorney. Any knowledgeable New Mexico civil rights attorney would have advised him to keep silent; however, Miranda was deprived of his rights, resulting in self-incrimination.
Protection of civil rights was included in the U.S. Constitution through the Bill of Rights, which protects, for example: the freedoms of religion, speech, press, assembly, and security in personal effects; the right to keep and bear arms; the freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, warrants issued without probable cause and protection against required self-incrimination; the right to counsel; an indictment by a grand jury for any capital or “infamous crime”; the guarantee of speedy, public trial with an impartial jury; and, the prohibition of double jeopardy.
A New Mexico civil rights attorney understands that, without effectively enforcing and upholding the Amendments, they are nothing more than ink on paper. Any person could be subjected to random and unlawful searches and seizures. Violation of the Amendments without penalty would destroy these building blocks of America.
The violation of constitutional rights by government agents or officials may be addressed through judicial or administrative proceedings, and sometimes, through both. The administrative proceedings may foreclose judicial review if not handled professionally and effectively. These cases can be very complex, and the strategy associated with their litigation requires experience and careful factual development.
In criminal proceedings, evidence obtained from the violation may be inadmissible at trial. Plaintiffs are also entitled to compensation in civil proceedings pursuant to 42 USC §1983 and under the New Mexico Tort Claims Act.
Contact a New Mexico Civil Rights Attorney
For more information, contact a New Mexico civil rights attorney with Twohig Law Firm at (505) 898-0400.