Free «The Fifth Amendment Rights» Essay Sample

The Fifth Amendment of the United States’ Constitution provides that a person will be held liable to answer for a crime only if presented with an indictment from a grand jury. Exception is provided under cases arising in the militia and naval forces. A person will not be compelled to answer for any charges, be placed in danger or have his or her private property invaded unless there is a written legal permission document. These clauses are meant to control the use of power as they give limits to the actions of the police.

The police should be required to inform one of his or her rights in order to protect suspects. Ignorance of one’s rights can lead to unjust confession of a crime, and this puts a suspect in jeopardy. Coercion is used by police to get information from clients, and this can be in the form of illegal searches. To ensure significance of acquittal, the police are expected to provide a proof that the suspect is aware of his or her rights. As such, the police should be held responsible for informing individuals on their rights according to the Fifth Amendment.

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Police have used people’s ignorance to this amendment to their advantage. They have been able to conduct illegal searches, take away personal property and even use coercion on suspects. It is with this realization that the landmark known as Miranda Rights came up with the requirement that people should be informed of their rights prior to being charged with any crime or arrest. The rights include the right to legal counsel, the right to remain silent and that anything uttered can be used for or against a suspect in a court of law.

Furthermore, if a person confesses to a crime, a proof must be provided that the person was informed of such rights. Any statement or confessions made without that knowledge cannot be used as evidence in a court of law. Miranda Rights are meant to protect individuals from self-incrimination and violation of the Fifth Amendment by police. Miranda realizes the fact that it is possible for one to place him or herself into double jeopardy, thus the requirement that the police should inform a suspect on his or her rights. The proponents of this landmark state that it is the work of law enforcers to inform people on their rights in order to serve them better (United States v Fricosu, 10-cr-00509-REB-02 (col. 2012)).

Police can inform one on the right to consent for a search. One is under no obligation to consent to searches as police only ask for such permission when they have no probable cause to conduct the search. However, when the police have a probable cause, they will go ahead and conduct a search with or without a suspect’s permission. Any items found through an illegal search cannot be used as evidence in a court of law according to the Fourth Amendment. Personal items cannot be taken from anyone without just cause. For example, if a policeman searches a suspect’s pockets without his consent, then any illegal items found during that search cannot be used in a criminal case. If such items get damaged or lost in such a case, then one has a right to be fully compensated.

Police are only allowed to conduct searches without consent where they have a probable cause. In some cases the police can search a suspect who has consented to the search without informing them of the right to consent to the search. For example, if the police have no intention to charge one with anything. Nonetheless, there are instances whereby a suspect will not be informed of consent if they have already accepted liability.


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