What are My Rights if Arrested?
Many people who are arrested for various criminal offenses are not aware they have legal rights. Given the number of crime shows on television today, no doubt you've heard "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law." This is true, however many people who are arrested do not fully understand their rights. Police will interrogate those who are arrested or even suspected of a crime relentlessly, and often break down innocent individuals who, after countless hours, are just ready for it to be over with. Upon arrest or even if you are just being questioned, it is recommended you seek the legal guidance of an experienced Orlando criminal defense attorney immediately.Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution
When you have actually been arrested for a crime, it is vital to understand your legal rights. Innocent individuals face criminal penalties or loss of freedom every day simply because they were not aware or did not exercise their legal rights. For instance, police must read your Miranda warnings, advising that anything you say may be used against you. You also have a right to say nothing at all, or to remain silent, which is often advised by criminal defense lawyers.
The legal rights of those arrested in Florida and throughout the U.S. are presented in the Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. These rights are designed to protect those who are accused of committing a criminal act from overzealous police tactics often used in an effort to get those who are innocent of the allegations to admit to a crime he or she did not commit. If you have been arrested, you have certain rights including:
- The right to remain silent
- The right to have your lawyer present
- The right to remain silent until you've contacted your lawyer and been given reliable legal guidance and advice
It's also important to note that in the event of your arrest, you have a right to be free from a search of your home, workplace, vehicle, or even your body without a signed warrant. While police may try to intimidate you and make you believe they can search or seize anything they desire when you have been arrested, this is not the case. Under our Constitution, the power of police or law enforcement is kept in check by the requirement of police to bring the details before a magistrate or judge, who will then decide whether the suspicion of whether you have committed a crime is based on facts that are reasonable. In the majority of cases, evidence that is seized from protected or private areas by police without a warrant may not be presented at trial.Remain Silent and Let Your Defense Attorney Speak for You
The most important right for you to keep in mind if you have been arrested for a drug, theft, assault, or any other crime is that you DO have the right to remain silent and are not required to answer any questions posed by police. While you do want to obey directions and act in a way that is courteous, you have a legal right to refrain from answering questions no matter how police may intimidate you or act as though if you don't answer their questions, you will be in a far more serious situation. This simply is not the case. First and foremost, request the presence of your criminal defense lawyer.
Many people are concerned that by requesting the presence of an attorney, they are somehow admitting guilt. After all, if you are innocent, why would you need a defense lawyer? The fact is police are relentless when it comes to interrogating those who are suspected of a crime; they will ask endless questions in an attempt to wear you down and get you to admit to a crime you did not commit. It's a psychological game of sorts.Request Your Attorney Presence Now
Ultimately, when you have been arrested it does not necessarily mean you will be jailed and prosecuted. The thing you must keep in mind is that primarily, you have the right to remain silent, the right to a lawyer, and the right to be charged with a criminal offense or released. For these reasons it is critical that immediately upon your arrest, you remain silent and request your lawyer. Police cannot question you further regarding any details of the crime or your history, personal life, etc. without the presence of your attorney. Additionally, by requesting your attorney's presence it is frequently possible to avoid being forced to "sweat it out" in confinement.
Learn about all of the legal rights of those who have been arrested for allegedly committing a crime by consulting with a seasoned Orlando criminal defense lawyer. As Abraham Lincoln once said, "He who represents himself has a fool for a client."
Contact our experienced Central Florida criminal defenses attorneys for a free consultation.