What Are Your Rights If You Get Arrested?
If you are ever arrested, you can rely on a set of rights known as Miranda rights. These are guaranteed by the United States Constitution and are stated as follows:
By law, an arresting officer must inform you of these rights immediately upon taking you into custody. If a person is arrested, but not informed of their Miranda rights, an attorney can ask the courts to dismiss any testimony obtained through police questioning after that person was taken into custody.
This Is NOT the Time to Volunteer
Miranda rights do not apply to situations where police merely question, but not detain you. In fact, unless you are being placed under arrest you are not bound by law to answer an officer’s questions. Any information you voluntarily submit to police can be used against you in court.
Taking your Miranda rights into account and considering the fact that any information you volunteer to provide before an arrest– or even after you are informed of your Miranda rights– can be used against you, it is best not to provide any information to an officer until you have contacted your attorney.
Assert Your Right to Remain Silent
You also cannot be forced to incriminate yourself. Arresting officers may attempt a number of tactics to compel a person to provide information. Whether under arrest or not, from the moment police begin questioning, they are gathering information to build a case. Some of their tactics may be very subtle and non-threatening, while others may be very stressful and may even cause intense fear or panic. It is important, however, to assert your right to remain silent regardless of the tactics used by police to get you to do otherwise. You can very directly and politely accomplish this simply by repeating the statement, “I would like to remain silent and would like to speak with an attorney” as many times as necessary.
In addition to your Miranda rights and not being forced to incriminate yourself, you also have the right to refuse a search of your property unless a warrant is issued.
Note, however, that there are circumstances where police may know a fact and such may justify a warrantless search. If the police perform a search without your permission, politely ask them to stop. Since you may have to fight the search in court, focus on remembering which officer said what, exactly what you said to them and note each officer’s name.
If, on the other hand, an officer asks you for permission to search, that is your cue to politely refuse. Do not volunteer to be searched thinking that it will prove your innocence.
Of course, if a warrant is issued, you must submit to a search, but you also have the right to see the warrant.
After Your Physical Arrest
If arrested, at some point you will be expected to provide answers to police questioning. You always have the right to have an attorney present during these interrogations. If you cannot afford an attorney, the court will appoint a specialized attorney, known as a public defender, to provide you with counsel and representation in court.
Parting Advice Before You Get Arrested
Many people wait until they are under arrest to develop a relationship with a good attorney. When placed in police custody, these people typically rely on a referral from a friend or family member or simply select a random attorney from a directory list. Although such is a common method, it is advised that you establish a relationship with a qualified attorney long before you find yourself in custody. And if you are already in a situation where you have even the slightest indication that you may be arrested, it is definitely time to find an attorney who will properly defend you in court.This entry was posted on Friday, April 28th, 2017 at 5:12 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.