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Does racial profiling affect criminal charges?

You have the legal right to be considered innocent until you have been proven guilty, and law enforcement officers in Phoenix, Arizona, may only detain or question you if they have a reason to believe you may have broken the law. This reason cannot be based on where you are from, your cultural background or religion, or the color of your skin. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, when personal characteristics such as these are the determining factors in a law enforcement agent’s treatment of you, it may be considered racial profiling.

Whether the charge is shoplifting or DUI, the way that an officer interacts with you must not be a reflection of his or her personal biases. However, many studies have indicated that searches, traffic stops and other law enforcement activities are aimed at minorities more often than Caucasians, in spite of the regulations and training to counter illegal discrimination. You may also experience harsher treatment and more serious charges if you are a minority, according to research.

Identifying racial profiling and holding law enforcement agents accountable is not necessarily a straightforward process, particularly when there is evidence that you were breaking the law. Nevertheless, even if you provided an official with a legitimate reason for suspicion, you must not be singled out from others who may be guilty of the same offense because of an officer’s racial prejudice. While this information may be helpful for those who have encountered harassment from police officers, it is for educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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