Your Rights When Placed Under Arrest

If you are placed under arrest, you should know that you have certain constitutional rights. You will probably not have a criminal lawyer with you at this point, so it is crucial you understand your rights at the moment of an arrest even if the arresting officer has not yet informed you of them.

The most important right you have when placed under arrest is the right to remain silent under the 5th amendment to the US Constitution. You may refuse to answer police questions on the basis of the possibility that your answers may incriminate you.

Because of this possibility, you should always ask to speak to an attorney before offering any information to police, which, as you’ve probably heard on television many times, can and will be used against you in a court of law.

Another important right is your right to refuse a police search request unless they have a warrant issued by a judge; if they do have a warrant, you have a right to see that warrant before any search commences. Note however, that police are allowed to perform certain searches pursuant to an arrest. As the law is quite nuanced in this area, it is advisable that you speak to a local criminal lawyer for fuller information.

This right to refuse a police search request extends not only to your person but also to your vehicle, house, bags, and other possessions.

You also have a right to representation guaranteed by the 6th amendment to the US Constitution. That is, you have the right to have an attorney represent you and to have your communications with that attorney be privileged. It is important that no one else be present when speaking with your criminal lawyer, however, as the presence of someone else could break the privilege, allowing your communications to be admitted in court against you.

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