An arrest can leave you floundering about whether your rights were maintained. The police still need to follow the law no matter the circumstances. Here are some of the steps that you can take to ensure that your rights are maintained during arrest proceedings.
Ask for Clarification
It’s okay to ask the police why they’re arresting you. They need to be forthcoming in explaining the situation and reading you your rights. This is just as much to protect themselves as it is to protect you. Depending on where the arrest is occurring, there may be additional paperwork that needs to be presented in order to make your detainment lawful. Ask for as much information as possible so that you can let your lawyer know the situation in which you find yourself. But be respectful as possible, to avoid any possible accusation of disrespect to legal authorities.
Avoid Self Incrimination
As soon as you request a lawyer, the police are legally obligated to stop speaking with you until your lawyer is present. Don’t make a rash confession or claim, because this can be damaging to your case. You can respectfully tell the police that you don’t want to speak with them. If they persist with questioning you, these conversations can be thrown out because they were obtained illegally. If the police ask to search your home or car, you have the right to tell them no if they don’t have a warrant.
In order for a search of your property to be lawful, the police need a warrant. The same can be said about how long that they can detain you without giving you information. After being processed, you may be able to request paperwork be started for you to see a judge. Bond can be set at that time so that you don’t have to spend any more time in jail. Look into bail bonds so that you can be prepared for the amount that’s determined for your release.
The judicial system has timelines in which things have to proceed before it’s considered unlawful detainment. You have to be charged with a crime within 24 hours of detention for less serious allegations. For more serious allegations, a hold can be applied to your case for up to 96 hours. If you’re being charged with a terrorism-related event, the police can hold you for two weeks before charges need to be filed. Each state has different lengths of time in which you can be held depending on the circumstances of the case. Know how long they can and cannot detain you and be willing to stand up for your rights once the proper time has passed.
Knowing your rights is the first step to take to protect yourself. Use these guidelines to ensure that your rights aren’t violated following your arrest, and to ensure that your case proceeds through the proper channels.
Author Info: Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan.