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Your Rights After You Are Arrested

According to the FBI’s crime statistics, in 2015 there was an increase of 3.9% in the approximate number of violent crimes in the United States as compared to the year 2014.

 The estimated rate of violent crime was 372.6 offenses per 100,000 people. An estimated 1,197,704 violent crimes occurred across the nation in total for 2015. There was a 10.8% increase in murder and non-negligent manslaughter when compared with 2014 estimates.

The Arrest Process

When a person is arrested, there is a specific series of events that follows. There are certain legal procedures that the police are expected to follow during, as well as after, the actual process of arrest. An arrest takes place when you are taken into custody by the police and is complete as soon as you, the suspect, do not have the freedom to walk away from the arresting officer.

Your Rights During an Arrest

In 1966, in Miranda v. Arizona, the US Supreme Court ruled that individuals who are arrested for being suspected of committing a crime have certain rights that officers must explain to them before they can be questioned. These rights are designed to protect a suspect’s Fifth Amendment right to be free from incriminating themselves and are read in a warning as follows:

  • You have the right to remain silent and to refuse to answer questions.
  • Anything you say may be used against you in a court of law.
  • You are given the right to an attorney before talking to the cops and to have your attorney by your side during the questioning at any given time.
  • If you do not have the money to pay for an attorney, one will be provided to you before you are questioned if you wish.
  • If you decide to answer any questions without the presence of an attorney, you will still have the right to stop answering at any point until talking to an attorney.

Miranda rights should be read only when a person is in the custody of the police and under interrogation – this means that it would not apply to situations such as traffic stops.

If you are arrested, you should always remember that you have certain rights to protect yourself, regardless of whether you are innocent or guilty.

  • Police cannot arrest you for a violation, such as a speeding ticket. However, you can be detained long enough for the officer to identify who you are and to give you a citation.
  • You are not under arrest when a “stop and frisk” is conducted by an officer. It is a temporary restraint to question you about a crime while searching for any weapons by patting your outer clothing.
  • If you are unsure about whether you are being arrested or not, you have the right to ask the police officer if you are being placed under arrest. Unless you are under arrest, you are not under any obligation to go with the officer.
  • At the time of arrest, you must be told why you are being arrested by the police officer and how the arrest is authorized. You can be arrested without a warrant if the officer has probable cause to believe that you committed a crime. Without probable cause, there should be a warrant for your arrest.
  • If you are arrested, you have the right to ask for a lawyer. You may have a limited number of phone calls so it might be best to use them to call your family or a friend to ask them for help in locating a legal counselor. You do not have to submit to an interview about the charges that got you arrested.
  • When arrested, you will be booked at the police station. You may be photographed and finger-printed. However, if the case against you is dismissed, you can request to have these removed from your record.
  • You have the right to decline to take a lie detector test. Before agreeing or asking to take such a test, you should talk to your legal representative. Keep in mind that lie detectors are not 100% accurate and may get you into more trouble rather than helping you.

If you have been arrested, you should immediately seek the legal counsel of the experienced attorneys at the Law Office of Paul J. Donnelly. P.A. Call us at (305) 757-3331 and we will review your case and provide you with an expert criminal defense attorney to protect your rights.