A gun crime accusation can be an extremely confusing and overwhelming time. Sometimes, you may even be falsely accused of a gun crime, and the accusation is not guaranteed to go away on its own. If you face a gun crime accusation, you may wonder, “Do I have any rights? The answer is yes; you have several rights under the United States and California Constitutions, including when you have been accused of a gun crime. This article will explore some of your fundamental rights, what to do (and not do) when accused of a gun crime, and how an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney can help.
Understanding Your Rights
The U.S. and California constitutions provide several crucial rights for people accused of crimes, including gun crimes, ensuring individuals have a fair and just legal process. Let’s look at your fundamental rights when facing a gun crime accusation.
Right to Remain Silent
Under the Fifth Amendment, you can remain silent to avoid incriminating yourself. If the police question you about the gun crime, you can invoke this right and not speak without having your attorney present. Police officers are known to try and make individuals make incriminating statements, even when they are innocent.
Right to an Attorney
Another right you have when facing accusations of a gun crime is the right to an attorney. Under the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution, you can exercise this right and retain an attorney. An experienced criminal defense attorney can guide you through all the significant stages of the process, including the questioning and even at trial. Having an attorney by your side is essential to avoid the gun crime charges placed against you in the first place.
Right to Privacy
The Fourth Amendment protects you from unreasonable searches and seizures of property. Unless the police have a search warrant, you can refuse them permission to search your home, vehicle, other property, and yourself. In fact, any evidence obtained through illegal searches or seizures can be excluded from your trial.
Right to Leave
If you are not under arrest, and the police officer has not read you your Miranda rights under the Fifth Amendment, you have the right to leave. But before leaving, ask the police officer if you are under arrest; if not, you can and should leave and contact a criminal defense attorney immediately.
Right to Due Process
You also have the right to a fair trial, per the Fourteenth Amendment. This includes being informed of the charges against you, the opportunity to confront witnesses, and the ability to present a defense.
What to Do After Being Accused of a Gun Crime
You should understand the seriousness of a gun crime accusation in California, even if you are innocent. California has some of the most stringent gun laws in the country, and if convicted of a gun crime, you may face up to 20 years in state prison. The moment you are accused of a gun crime in California, there are several things you should do, such as:
- Invoke your right to remain silent
- Stay calm and compliant while asserting your rights
- Politely but firmly request an attorney
- Intervene before charges are placed against you
What Not to Do Following an Accusation of a Gun Crime
Equally, there are several things you should not do after being accused of a gun crime. These include the following:
- Do not destroy evidence
- Do not talk to the police without an attorney present
- Do not waive any of your rights
- Do not consent to searches
- Avoid posting any information related to your case on social media
- Do not attempt to flee or resist arrest.
How a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
Retaining an experienced criminal defense attorney is the most crucial step when facing a gun crime accusation in California. An attorney can assist you in many ways, including:
- Helping you understand the accusations and the potential implications so you can make informed decisions
- Protecting your rights throughout the process
- Gathering evidence that can be used to your advantage
- Making all the required court motions
- Negotiating a favorable plea
- Seeking alternative sentencing
- Strategically representing you at trial
Have You Been Accused of a Gun Crime in Los Angeles, California?
Being accused of a gun crime in California seriously requires immediate action and rights protection. If you or someone you know is facing a gun crime accusation in Los Angeles, CA, the experienced criminal defense attorneys at the Kosnett Law Firm are here to help. Contact us at 310-362-7230 today to learn how we can protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome for your case.