Three Things To Know If You're Arrested

Posted on: 7 February 2019

Getting arrested can be a terrifying experience, regardless of innocence or guilt. Understanding the process beforehand can help you protect your rights and act as your own advocate. Here are some things you should know if you are ever arrested.

Your Miranda Rights Are Ongoing

You've likely heard the Miranda warning while watching television, but perhaps you haven't spent a lot of time thinking about what it means for you. If you are arrested, you have the right to an attorney. If you decide to answer questions without an attorney present, you don't forfeit the right to legal representation. You can stop questioning by police at any time by asking to speak to your lawyer. Any information you provide before invoking your right to an attorney or your right to protect yourself against self-incrimination can be used against you, but information obtained after may not be.

You Can Verify Your Inventory Of Personal Items

When you are arrested, your personal effects will be confiscated. The police should provide you with an inventory that details all your items, including your clothing and shoes. After the items are collected, you will be asked to sign an inventory confirming the contents of the list. You can ask to review the list before signing, as you are still allowed to make sure that all your property is accounted for. If there is a discrepancy, discuss this with your attorney.

Your Rights To A Phone Call May Be Different

Just as with the Miranda warning, you've probably seen TV shows and movies that discuss a person's right to a phone call. That right isn't included in the Miranda warning, and the Constitution has no amendment granting such a specific right. However, some states do afford arrestees the right to one or more phone calls. These calls might be used to secure a lawyer, contact a spouse or parent, or make arrangements for a loved one's care during an arrest. You may want to read up on your state's restrictions so you know in advance what the rules will be in the event you are detained.

The most important right you have is the right to legal representation, even if you can't afford an attorney. If you are arrested, an attorney can be your greatest ally and protection, regardless of guilt. Make sure you know your rights and do some research into criminal defense attorneys before you need one. Having the number of a great lawyer in your pocket may come in handy more often than you think. For more information, contact a local law firm like Kalasnik Law Office