Know Your Rights

Asserting Your Constitutional Rights

Remain Silent • Demand an Attorney • Don't Consent to Searches

The U.S. Constitution is not a trick that defense lawyers invoke to twist the law. It is the law. It's what keeps the police and prosecutors honest when you are suspected of a crime. It's what separates America from other parts of the world where the accused have no rights.

Unfortunately, most citizens fail to exercise their constitutional rights when stopped, questioned, searched or arrested. The average person isn't quite sure what those rights are, or is afraid to assert them. They think that refusing to answer questions or asking for an attorney will make them look guilty, or they think that cooperating with police will buy some leniency.

It's intimidating to be pulled over or confronted by police, but if you firmly, respectfully, and repeatedly invoke your rights, the officer must honor them. You may or may not still be arrested, but you will be in far better legal shape.

The criminal defense law firm of Edward E. DeWerff, Attorney at Law, is committed to protecting your rights. Mr. DeWerff has helped clients avoid prosecution, win their freedom at trial, or limit the potential penalties by demonstrating violations of the U.S. Constitution by law enforcement and the prosecution. Call our Clarksville, Tennessee, office at 931-216-8616 or 931-444-6038 for a free consultation and aggressive representation.

Your Basic, Bottom Line Rights

  • You have a right to remain silent, and you should always use it. The police will pretend to be your friend and promise to "take it easy" on you, or they will threaten you with all sorts of terrible consequences if you don't talk. But there is nothing you can say that won't come back to haunt you in court.
  • You have the right to speak with a lawyer before answering questions - before or after your arrest. It won't be held against you by a judge or jury.
  • You can and should refuse to consent to searches of your pockets or purse or backpack, your car, your home or any other property. Don't hand them evidence that is not readily apparent. Make them get a warrant or prove in court the justification for conducting a search over your objections.
  • You can and should refuse field sobriety tests for suspicion of drunk driving. Unlike refusal of a breath test, which can result in automatic license suspension, there is no penalty for declining to perform these biased and unreliable "gotcha" tests.

Have You Already Talked, Been Arrested or Allowed a Search?

The damage is done, but it's not necessarily fatal to your case. Trial lawyer Ed DeWerff is a former prosecutor and has practiced in criminal defense for more than 16 years. Step by step, he scrutinizes your traffic stop, warrants, interrogation and arrest for any evidence that police lacked probable cause, overstepped their authority, or violated your rights.

The Fifth Amendment protects you from being forced to incriminate yourself. The Fourth Amendment protects you from unreasonable searches and seizures. These are only the beginning. Mr. DeWerff will fully explain, and fiercely guard, all of your constitutional rights.

We serve the accused in Clarksville and throughout Middle Tennessee. Contact us immediately for a free consultation.