Things have gone from bad to worse for one former Snohomish County deputy prosecutor. Last week deputy prosecutor Chris Dickinson was fired following an arrest for drunken driving. Now, the former prosecutor is facing a criminal investigation for groping a co-worker. Snohomish County prosecutor Mark Roe confirmed the investigation, stating a female deputy prosecutor reported unwanted groping from Dickinson during the legal conference at which Dickinson was arrested for DUI.
The arrest and groping investigation aren't the only embarrassing incidents the Snohomish County prosecutor's office is dealing with since the conference. Prosecutor Roe was also confronted with photographs of Dickinson and his topless girlfriend at a gathering of prosecutor's office staff in a hotel room shortly before the DUI arrest. The events of the conference clearly weigh heavily on the elected official. “I feel terrible about it. It's been probably my worst week as a prosecutor,” said Roe. “I don't know how she came to be exposed in that fashion on the top half of her body.”
Complicating the situation was the fact that Dickinson's girlfriend was unconscious at the time the photo was taken. “A young DPA took the photo because he was appalled by the actions of Dickinson and thought it should be documented in some fashion so that he could be held accountable for that,” according to Roe.
The prosecutor acknowledged it was inappropriate to take a photo of the unconscious woman, and that the prosecutor who did so was reprimanded. Roe expressed disappointment in the conduct of his employees and suggested that the investigation could result in additional charges for Dickinson.
Constitutional Rights of a Defendant
Regardless of the charges against the former prosecutor, it is important to understand that he enjoys the same constitutional protections as the rest of us. The constitution specifically provides protection for all from certain actions of the government. These rights are enumerated in different constitutional amendments.
The 4th Amendment
The 4th Amendment bars unreasonable searches and seizures. In other words, it protects you from the government unreasonably detaining you or searching your belongings. The 4th amendment protects you in your home, while walking down the street, and even in your car.
The 5th Amendment
Anyone that has spent much time watching television knows about “pleading the 5th.” This is a reference to the 5th amendment, which protects you from the government forcing you to incriminate yourself. The 5th amendment also bestows your Miranda rights, which require law enforcement to inform you of your constitutional rights before you can be questioned regarding a crime. The 5th amendment also guarantees that you can't be tried for the same crime twice.
The 6th Amendment
The 6th amendment gives you a number of important rights, including the right to confront witnesses against you in a criminal case. It also grants you the right of a public trial and to be notified of any charges against you, among other things.
The 14th Amendment
The 14th amendment isn't entirely about rights in criminal cases, but it does provide a few important ones including the right to due process and equal protection under the law. These rights guarantee you are treated fairly pursuant to proper protocol.
If you have been charged with a crime in the Seattle area, let The Law Offices of Steve Karimi protect your constitutional rights. Contact them today for a free consultation.
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