Your Right To Be Free From An Unreasonable Search in Mississippi

The United States Constitution and the Mississippi Constitution contain a Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights of each constitution apply to every person in American. In the areas around Jackson, Mississippi, including Ridgeland, Madison, Brandon, Pearl, and Clinton, criminal defense lawyers have witnessed a disregard for those rights by law enforcement. The right to be free from an unreasonable search and seizure is one of the most valuable of the individual Bill of Rights. A great source for gaining a better appreciation and understanding of the Bill of Rights can be found at the Bill of Rights Institute.
I bring this topic up because I have watched for years with interest the national news stories about Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Sheriff Arpaio first turned up years ago talking tough and promoting policies that in my opinion bordered on cruel. His policies became more and more extreme until they took on what now seems like outright civil rights violations and political attacks against his opponents using his law enforcement powers. What is even more interesting is how Sheriff Arpaio is refusing to comply with a request from the United States Government for him to turn over records. The Sheriff’s Office is the recipient of millions of dollars in grants from the Federal Government and when you get these types of grants the receiving agency has a duty to provide the U.S. Government with these types of documents.

The Sheriff however is not without his supporters. He has many supporters in Arizona who are opposed to the immigrants coming into this country. As you may recall Arizona recently enacted an immigration law that is being challenged by the U.S. Government as a violation of the Federal Government’s right to enact and control the national immigration issue. You can read about this contentious Sheriff on the MSNBC website in an article styled Feds Sue Arizona Sheriff in Civil Rights Probe. It is interesting to me that Sheriff Arpaio, a law enforcement officer who is sworn to uphold the law is charged with violating civil rights and in the case investigation he wants to disregard the laws that apply to him if he does not like the effect of those laws. The root of Sheriff Arpaio’s problems seem to be his disrespect for the law.

Those of us who handle criminal cases see this disrespect for the Bill of Rights every day. It is very common among law enforcement. If you watch all the cop shows on television the rights we all enjoy are treated like nuisances to the police. The Bill of Rights have made America a great, free country. Instead of treating the Bill of Rights like an obstacle to law enforcement, we should view them as the breath of liberty.

Merrida Coxwell is the managing partner of Coxwell & Associates, a law firm who represents people who are charged with criminal offenses.The attorneys at Coxwell & Associates have over 75 combined years helping people with charges ranging from misdemeanors to serious, complex felonies in State and Federal Court.

Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.

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