Exercise Your Rights When Accused of or Charged with a Crime
If a police officer arrests you – defined as seizing or detaining you by taking actions that show an intention of taking you into custody – you should be aware that you have certain rights. These rights cannot be violated at any time. By understanding your rights during criminal investigations and subsequent legal processes, you can protect yourself from potential wrongful prosecution and conviction.
Commonly known as the Miranda warning because of the Supreme Court decision in Miranda v. Arizona, these are the rights you need to be aware of and can exercise if you have been arrested. Law enforcement officials make a practice of informing people of these rights at some point during booking or interrogation after an arrest. While the police officer who arrests you does not have to read you these rights, they cannot use anything you say against you in a trial if they did not read you these rights before you made the statement.
Understanding these rights before they are read to you can enable you to better protect yourself and maintain your composure during this difficult process.
- You have the right to remain silent: You don’t have to answer a police officer’s questions or incriminate yourself with any statements that could be used against you. If you wish to exercise this right, tell the arresting officer right away.
- Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law: It is strongly recommended that you do not say anything before speaking to a criminal defense attorney. Your lawyer can help you understand how answering certain questions or making specific statements can help or harm you.
- You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you: By calling our firm, we can offer you a free case evaluation to help you understand your options and how we may be able to help you if you have been charged with a crime.
Your Rights Throughout the Investigation & Legal Process
In addition to the right to not incriminate yourself by refusing to answer police questions and your right to a defense attorney who can help you weigh your options and protect your interests, you have a number of other rights if you have been arrested. For example, you have constitutional rights that protect you from unreasonable search and seizure. By retaining an attorney from our firm, you can benefit from our guidance as to what information you are entitled to throughout an investigation and how to navigate your way through the criminal justice system.
The following is a list of rights that you should gain an understanding of if you are facing arrest, have been arrested, or if a loved one has been charged with a crime:
- You have the right to be told why you are being arrested and on what basis
- If there is a warrant for the arrest, you have the right to see this warrant
- If the arresting officer does not have a search warrant, you have the right to refuse to allow him or her to search your home or vehicle
- If you refuse to answer the police officer’s questions, he or she cannot penalize or mistreat you
- You have the right to refuse a chemical test or a lie detector test prior to consulting your attorney
- You have the right to have an attorney present during an eyewitness identification method, including a lineup
- You have the right to contact someone and let them know of your arrest, even if multiple phone calls are required to do so
- If you have not been charged with a capital crime, you have the right to a reasonable bond or bail
- You have the right to be brought before a court within a reasonable amount of time following your arrest in order to prove your innocence
Call The Law Office of H. Charles Gorian
If you’ve been arrested, don’t hesitate to call our criminal defense attorney at The Law Office of H. Charles Gorian. We are prepared to offer you aggressive legal defense no matter what charges you face. At our firm, we believe that everyone deserves the best possible defense. Let us help you protect your rights and your future.
Call a lawyer today at (951) 395-0511 for a free case evaluation and learn how your case can benefit from the advocacy of The Law Office of H. Charles Gorian.