Recently, a panel of three judges in appellate upheld a previous court decision that found that Los Angeles Police Department detectives violated a man’s rights and that in doing so, they did not receive valid consent to enter his home.
On the morning of June 8, 2014, the man was arrested in the Hollywood Hills home of film star Sandra Bullock. He was charged with burglary, stalking and weapons violations. According to the police, after being interrogated, the man agreed in writing and verbally to allow a search of his home. Once at the home, the police found a cache of illegal firearms.
According to the man’s legal representative, the police continued to question and pressure the man after he had requested that he wanted to invoke is right to remain silent. And in the ruling, the judges agreed that the police violated the man’s Fifth Amendment rights.
The man’s case has yet to be decided and he has been in custody at the county jail since his 2014 arrest. But the appellate court’s ruling might cause the dismissal of 24 of the 26 charges against the man.
Another important component of this case is the man’s apparent mental health issues. Among other indications to this effect, he is said to have had a notebook in which he expressed his belief that Ms. Bullock was his wife by law. Another legal representative is quoted as saying the man needs mental health care and not a prison sentence.
If you should find yourself the subject of an arrest, the police have no business trying to get you to incriminate yourself after you have expressed your desire to remain silent. As such, it is important to seek the representation of an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help make sure that your rights are protected.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “LAPD detectives illegally searched home of Sandra Bullock’s accused stalker, court says,” Matt Hamilton, Feb 15, 2017