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Your Rights

“Excellent outcome, exceptional memory of the facts, extremely prepared & respected by his peers, consulted and hired on the spot"

"I was a client and hired this attorney. His Avvo rating was superb and described as being extremely genuine, intelligent, detailed and articulate as an attorney. I conducted my own research of former clients, testimonials and current litigators and published works by Attorney Tim Zerillo, which resulted in an initial consultation, then an immediate hiring. Attorney Zerillo is very polite and welcoming. He was willing to speak in great detail about my pending case and possible outcomes. He made it clear he was willing to take my case to trial if there were no other agreeable terms reached during legal process...His brain does not stop working. Attorney Zerillo has a clear devotion to his clients and reaching the best outcome for all parties. Unfortunately, some attorneys can't even remember your name or charges pending. You get what you pay for and I feel Timothy Zerillo is one of the top Criminal Attorney's in the area, in my opinion. His memory and recollection to important factual detail was superb. His attentiveness to flaws in the prosecution's case was a unique trait and quite impressive. You, or a friend or loved one, who may find themselves in a similar uncomfortable setting, like myself someday, at least, owe yourself the opportunity to hear him out and the plan he would develop to present you with the best representation possible. I feel from my case experience, Attorney Timothy Zerillo is a clear "no brainer" when consulting and hiring a true litigator and legal representation at such a vulnerable stage in your life. This may be the best choice you ever make. It was sure gratifying to feel at the end of the case, my representation was first class and worth every dollar spent!"

Review by Jay, a criminal defense Client.

What in the world are your “rights” anyway?

When people talk about a violation of their rights, they often aren't sure what they mean.  Here, we try to explain the basics of your rights so you understand them a little better.

  1. You have the right to be free from unreasonable searches.
  2. You have the right to be free from unreasonable seizures.
  3. You have the right to remain silent.
  4. You have the right to a fair trial.
  5. You have the right to speak to a lawyer.

Unreasonable Searches

You have the right to be free from unreasonable searches.  The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects you from “unreasonable searches” by law enforcement officers.  This generally means that the police cannot search for evidence on your person, your home, or your vehicle without probable cause or a warrant.  This becomes more complicated depending on the circumstances and there are various exceptions that apply.

Remember, if you consent to a search, the police do not need probable cause or a warrant.  Do not consent to a search without speaking to us first.  This does not mean you should physically resist a search.  It just means you should never agree to a search, or voluntarily let the police into your home, unless they have a warrant.  If the police are knocking at your door, call us immediately at (207) 228-1139.

If the police have illegally searched you, we can file a Motion to Suppress the evidence they seized.

Unreasonable Seizures.

Again, this is a Fourth Amendment provision.  The “seizure” here can include a seizure of your person or evidence.  Once again, do not consent to the police seizing evidence.  However, you should never physically resist the police.  Remember, if the police attempt to seize you or evidence illegally, we can file a Motion to Suppress later.

You have the right to remain silent.

The Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, states that “[n]o person . . . shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.”   The Miranda case requires the police to read you your rights.  However, they only need to read you the warning if you are in custody and being interrogated.  So, the police in Maine have a tendency to ask you questions in a friendly way without having you in custody in order to avoid reading you Miranda.  Once again, it is always a good answer to say “I want to speak to my lawyer without answering any questions.”

If the police have violated your Miranda rights, we can file a Motion to Suppress your statements so that they cannot be used against you.

You have the right to a fair trial.

The Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provide a criminal defendant the right to a fair trial. During trial you have numerous constitutional rights, including the right to be represented by an attorney, to call witnesses on your behalf, to confront government witnesses through cross-examination, and to testify if you choose to.  You cannot be compelled to testify under the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution.

You have the right to be represented by a lawyer.

This is a complicated right.  The Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution guarantee that you have the right to be represented by a lawyer against criminal charges you face. This applies in different ways both before and after your arrest.  The point is this: if you are being targeted for a crime, don't do anything before speaking with a lawyer.  If you have already been charged with a crime, hire the best lawyer you can to protect your liberty.

If you have a criminal case in Maine, accept no substitute when you chose your lawyer.  Contact Zerillo Law Firm today to protect your rights!

For more information about our services, please call 207-228-1139 to speak directly with a Portland, Maine criminal defense lawyer, or contact us by using our online form.          

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Timothy E. Zerillo Clients’ Choice Award 2017
Timothy E. Zerillo Clients’ Choice Award 2014
10.0 Timothy E. Zerillo
The National Trial Lawyers