All individuals within the United States of America have rights guaranteed to them by the Constitution. These rights are what separate and distinguish the United States of America from all other countries and forms of government in existence today. In laying the foundation for this country, the Founding Fathers believed that certain freedoms and rights must be guaranteed to all people in order to avoid the development of an oppressive and tyrannical government. These rights are to be protected at all costs for they are the very foundation of our system of government. Millions have died in an effort to ensure that these rights remain firm and steadfast in the face of an uncertain and hostile world. If the government is permitted to improperly infringe upon these constitutionally guaranteed freedoms, the very core of our nation is placed in jeopardy.

One cannot ensure that the rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution remain firm and steadfast if they begin to take on an aura of illusory idealism. Most Americans do not truly know or understand their rights. These rights are real; they are substantive; and they apply to our everyday life. Knowing and exercising these rights is what maintains the balance of power in our system of government. For this reason Benjamin Franklin stated: "This will be the best security for maintaining our liberties. A nation of well-informed men, who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them, cannot be enslaved."

The attorneys at Gourley, Rehkemper & Lindholm, PLC, are passionate about educating the public about their rights and ensuring that the public not only knows and understands them but are able to exercise these rights in an effort to preserve their freedom. For this reason we have developed the slogan: Know your rights; exercise your rights; preserve your freedom. Nowhere is this more important then in the area of a criminal investigation.

While exercising constitutional and statutory rights may upset law enforcement and potentially lead to a premature arrest, a citizen who knows, understands and effectively exercises their rights will be much better served then an individual who does not. Do not let law enforcement intimidate you with threats of arrest. Prisons are full of individuals that attempted to talk themselves out of being arrested! By talking and consenting to searches and/or testing, an individual provides law enforcement and ultimately the prosecutor with the evidence necessary to potentially obtain a conviction. While all is not lost by cooperating, your best bet is to politely exercise your rights.

Have you been arrested or currently under investigation?

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