You are taken into custody when you are arrested. You are not free to leave. There are times, however, you aren’t arrested, but you are detained or held for questioning for a short time if law enforcement has reason to believe you might be involved in a crime. Either way, you have rights and you do not have to answer any questions beyond your name, your address and to show ID, if asked for it. You will be read your Miranda Rights – this is guaranteed by the US Constitution – if the officer does not read these to you, your criminal defense attorney can ask that any statements you made NOT be used in court.
- The first right – remain silent. And, this is very important: STAY SILENT. I have had clients who try to explain situations away, give their version or make excuses – don’t do it. Even, if law enforcement is hammering you for answers – tell them nothing. They will try many ways to get you to open up – don’t do it.
- You have the right to have a court appointed lawyer. The best thing to do is contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. We have a better idea of what you should and shouldn’t be saying to law enforcement to avoid being misinterpreted or misunderstood.
- You have the right to make phone calls. You are entitled to make phone calls within the local area to a lawyer, bail bondsman, a relative or any other person. It is a good idea to call a relative or friend first who can make other calls for you. You will probably not be able to get a hold of an attorney if it is the middle of the night, but be sure to do so as soon as you are released or as soon as a relative can do so for you.
- You have the right to appear before a judge soon after your arrest. without any unnecessary delay. This will be when you enter a plea of guilty, no contest or not guilty. Your are entitled to a speedy trial – once you are charged the government can not drag its feet and wait to begin a trial.
The Bottom Line: If you are arrested, it is vital that you get an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. This is the absolute best way to make sure that your rights are protected and that you receive the best possible outcome. I can be reached at all times on my cell, put it in your contacts; 513-260-2099