Getting arrested can be a very nerve-racking and stressful event for the average citizen. Although, the most important thing you can do during such a time is to remain calm, comply with law enforcement and understand what rights you have. Just because you’re being arrested doesn’t mean your life is over, and to make the most out of a bad situation, it is crucial that you know your rights when being arrested.
What Does an Arrest Look Like?
First and foremost, you should understand exactly what is happening in a situation like this. Most of the time, an officer will tell you that you’re under arrest. If it has not been made clear, however, you are allowed to ask and clarify. Sometimes, you may just be getting detained to be questioned later on. In less intense, more controlled situations, the officer will most likely start by asking you for identification, along with some basic questions like what you’re up to, where you’re going, etc. It is important to comply to a reasonable extent, although you are not required to answer any questions. During an arrest, the police officer involved is obligated to read you your Miranda Rights. This consists of a few statements that will clarify your rights and protect you under law.
The Miranda Rights are as followed:
“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?”
Knowing Your Rights When Being Arrested
When an officer is arresting you, one of their main focuses is to start building a case against you. For that reason, it is important to keep quiet. Thanks to the fifth amendment, you are not required to speak at all, and it’s better if you don’t, guilty or not. Secondly, make sure to note if the officer reads you your Miranda Rights. If they never did, anything that you say can be neglected and would not be used against you. In some cases, it can really go a long way in getting you free. Furthermore, make sure they provide a warrant. This is not only important for being arrested, but also for you or your belongings being searched. Without a warrant, the officer can only conduct a simple pat down (if it’s suspected you have a weapon) or a basic search of your property, whether it’s a vehicle, your house, or anything else. In more serious, urgent cases, however, you can and will be arrested without a warrant, so don’t think this is a “get out of jail free” card. Finally, use your rights to your advantage. If you aren’t actually being arrested, the officer has no authority to hold you. Even if they planned on questioning you, it is your right to leave. If being arrested however, remember to comply to the most basic extent, or you may catch even more charges such as resisting arrest. That should be the end of it, though. You don’t need to answer any questions, or say anything at all.
Contact an Attorney
If you or someone you know has been, or is being arrested, the first step towards justice is working with the right attorney. We at Catanzaro Law understand the importance of having proper representation. That is why our defense team is dedicated to serving you in your time of need. If you’re in need of a defense attorney, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation, and feel confident that you’re getting the representation you need!