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When a police mistake leads to criminal charges

You have certain unalienable rights. That's something every Texan learns in civics class. And even if you happened to miss that day, you likely know the words of the Miranda warning because of television. You have the right to remain silent and refuse to answer police questions without an attorney present.

A right to be free of government intrusion is granted by the Constitution, as well. And while that right is not absolute, authorities are required to be careful when infringing on it. Overstepping the bounds happens more often than most people know. Sometimes it happens on purpose. Sometimes it occurs because officers are blind to crossing the line. Regardless, anyone facing criminal charges as a result needs strong legal advocacy in addressing the potential consequences.

What police can't do

Under the Constitution and because of legal decisions over time, police cannot:

  • Search without a warrant in a location where you have a reasonable expectation of privacy, unless certain exceptions exist.
  • Use evidence obtained by illegal search against you in court.
  • Rely on evidence found separately, but directly resulting from, an illegal search.
  • Submit an affidavit seeking a warrant if they know the claims in the document are untrue.
  • Search your vehicle as part of a standard traffic stop, unless they have reasonable suspicion it might contain evidence of criminal action.

That last prohibition is one that deserves the special attention of readers. All you have to do is scan any day's headlines and you are bound to find at least one instance in which a traffic violation resulted in police conducting a vehicle search, finding evidence and subsequently arresting a suspect on weapons, drug or other criminal charges.

You might not be aware when police cross the line, but police should and an experienced attorney will. That's why it's important to consult an experienced lawyer when issues arise. 

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  1. When I got myself into a big mess, Mr. Ross helped me get an amazing deal and now only a few years later I have my life back. He's very professional and gets to know his clients because he genuinely cares. And his staff keep the same level of professionalism. Very highly recommend!

  2. John "Tony" Ross Jr. is hands down the go to man if you need a juvenile defense attorney. He is professional but yet treats you like a friend. Tony really listened to our concerns. He worked hard to get us just about everything we could have hoped for and the charges significantly lessened. He went above and beyond to make sure my family member was treated fairly and with dignity. If you have a child or grandchild in trouble with the law, don't shop around. Call John "Tony" Ross Jr.

  3. Hands down the best attorney in this area! Tony went above and far beyond what we could have expected. If you are in need of legal assistance, he is definitely the way to go.

  4. Tony Ross is excellent, and was a very educated expert in having my case examined and reviewed to get it downgraded...the charge downgraded from a DWI to an obstruction of a highway passage because of the talented Mr. Anthony "Tony" Ross, and Ross Law Offices, P.C.! I was very pleased to not have the original charge of a DWI on record and satisfied of the result of no DWI. Would highly recommend Ross Law Offices, P.C.! Good luck, but who needs luck with Tony Ross!

  5. Mr. Tony Ross is an amazing attorney. My son made some poor choices and needed legal assistance. Mr. Ross was able to help us keep him out of jail and the charges off his record. We are forever grateful that our son has a second chance!

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Denton, TX 76209

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