Most people learn about the United States Constitution in school, but knowing what it says and understanding what it means are two different matters. All adults must know some fundamental rights that the Bill of Rights provides.

When your rights are violated, those violations can become an essential part of your criminal defense. It’s usually best to uphold these rights from the start of your interaction with law enforcement officers, but you have to know their practical application.


According to the Fifth Amendment, nobody has to incriminate themselves in a criminal investigation or trial. From the time the police officers start investigating a crime through the outcome of a trial, you have the right to remain silent. Law enforcement must read you your Miranda rights if you are in custody and an interrogation is starting.

You must invoke your Miranda rights by telling the cops that you wish to remain silent or that you’re invoking your Miranda rights. Once you do this, questioning has to stop completely. During a trial, you can say you “plead the Fifth” to avoid self-incrimination. You can’t pick and choose what you answer, so once you invoke this right, you must remain silent.


The Fourth Amendment sets limits for searches and seizures. It forbids unreasonable searches and seizures of private property or an individual. Typically, police officers need a search warrant to conduct a search or seizure. They must follow the limits set by that order. The exception is if something is in plain sight or you provide permission for the search.

To get a search warrant from the court, there must be probable cause. This means there’s evidence that a reasonable person would agree highly suggests that the subject committed the crime.

The professionals at the Law Offices Of Michael P. McGuire LLC are here to help people facing criminal charges. Contact us using our online form or by calling 732-704-7331 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.