An arrest for just about any kind of crime can throw your life into a chaotic tailspin. It can affect your relationships, your living situation and even your employment.

If a simple arrest can cause so much chaos in your life, can you imagine what a conviction would bring? That potential impact is why it is critical to build a strong defense to criminal charges.

Crimes charges require diverse defense strategies, but there are certain kinds of strategies that work in a wide range of criminal cases. Potentially, defenses based on police misconduct or a violation of your rights are defense strategies. However, it will require careful planning and documentation to make such a defense strategy work.

Racial profiling can lead to wrongful arrest and can help a criminal defense

It is sad but true that many people in our society carry deep-seated prejudices regarding race. Racial bias impacts people of all professions, including law enforcement. That can lead to officers engaging in a practice known as a racial profiling: They treat a broad segment of the population as potential criminals simply because of their race or color.

You may not look anything like the sketch of the criminal police were looking for, but if you are the same race and gender and in the wrong neighborhood, you end up getting arrested for a crime you didn’t commit.

If law enforcement make a racist statement or if it is a clear case of profiling, that may help you fight charges. You should advise your attorney of concerns of racial profiling at the time of your initial meeting.

Overt violations of your rights can also build a defense

There are rules meant to protect American citizens from unlawful arrest or inappropriate conviction. For example, law enforcement cannot enter a home to search it without a warrant or probable cause. Similarly, they must make you aware of your Miranda rights prior to questioning or interrogating you about a crime.

In the event that you believe police violated your rights, the first step is to document as much as possible. If you have someone there to help you record the violation as it happens on a cellphone camera, that is ideal. After your arrest, you can write down the details of what happened and how you believe law enforcement violated your rights.

Written records are better than verbal records, as they will help you maintain a clear memory of what happened. Do not assume that because it seems seared in your mind now that you will have perfect recall in the future.

Regardless of the charges you face, a proper defense strategy is important to your future. If you believe your rights were violated, that may help your case. Discussing the details of your situation with an attorney who understands Illinois criminal defense can help you at this vulnerable time.