Thursday, January 23, 2014

Your Rights If You’re Arrested

In one of last week’s posts we discussed what you should do if you’re arrested. Additionally, it is crucial that you know what rights you have if you are taken into custody.

When you are placed under arrest, the officer is required to inform you of your Miranda Rights, which include:  

The right to remain silent.
The Fifth Amendment protects individuals from self-incrimination, which means that you do not have to answer any questions. Anything you say, even if it seems harmless, could be used as evidence against you in court. It is best to stay quiet and refuse to answer any questions until you have legal representation.

The right to an attorney.
No matter the circumstances, anyone who is placed under arrest and is accused of a crime has the right to be represented by an attorney. If you cannot afford to hire your own legal counsel, the state will provide you with a lawyer. It is best to refuse to discuss any aspect of the case until you have spoken to your lawyer, who can inform you of your legal rights and options.

The right to refuse to sign anything.
If law enforcement tries to persuade you to sign anything, such as a statement or other type of document, you can refuse to do so. It is in your best interests to refuse to put your signature on anything until you can discuss the matter with your attorney.

In addition to your Miranda Rights, you are also entitled to other rights, under most circumstances.
  • If you have not been placed under arrest but are merely being questioned, you have the right to stop answering questions and calmly leave.
  • You have the right to refuse to consent to having your person, your home, or your vehicle searched.
  • You have the right to make your own decisions, which means that if you choose to do so, you can answer the police’s questions, give a statement, or consent to tests without your attorney present.
  • If you choose to speak to law enforcement, you have the right to stop answering questions or discussing the case at any time and wait for your lawyer.
  • You have the right to be treated humanely, which means that the officers should not use excessive and unreasonable force against you.
If you were not informed of your Miranda Rights when arrested or if you believe that your rights were violated in any way, contact an experienced defense lawyer as soon as possible. De Castroverde Law Group is dedicated to protecting the rights of the criminally accused, and we may be able to advocate on your behalf. Visit our website to learn more about hiring a criminal lawyer.