Your Rights In The Criminal Justice System

Your rights in the criminal justice system are protected by the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments. This primer will give you a basic overview of what they say, what they do, and how you can put them to good use...

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4th Amendment Supreme Court Cases

What you need to know about stop-and-frisk law (Terry v. Ohio), investigatory stops and detentions (Florida v. Bostick), consent searches (Schneckloth v. Bustamonte), and illegally-seized evidence (Mapp v. Ohio).

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Probable Cause & Reasonable Suspicion

Many factors contribute to a police officer's level of authority in a given situation. Understanding the what, when, why, and how of police conduct during a stop is confusing for most people. Varying standards of proof exist to justify varying levels of police authority during citizen contacts. While Know My Rights maintains that it is never a good idea to consent to a search or to answer incriminating questions, a working knowledge of these standards will help the citizen better understand when police can surpass constitutional protections.

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Pretextual Stops: Whren v. U.S.

A pretextual traffic stop is when police officers pull you over for something minor that they generally would never stop anyone for (like changing lanes without using your turn signal) when really they suspect you of something else, but don't have the necessary cause to stop you. This may sound like a sketchy practice, but in Whren v. U.S., the Supreme Court said it's legal. Still, just because cops can get away with it doesn't mean there aren't steps you can take to protect yourself. Here's what you need to know...

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Miranda v. Arizona

Everyone who has ever seen a cop show on television knows what Miranda Rights are, but getting your civic education from a tv set means you've probably been exposed to some bad info. Here's what Miranda is really all about...

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