What you do in the moments after your arrest will affect the strength of the case brought against you in court. To remain calm during an arrest, it is important to know your rights. The constitution grants all persons the right to be regarded as innocent until proven guilty. Your arrest does not mean you have been found guilty. Before you get an opportunity to scour all of Middletown, CT, for a lawyer, having a requisite basic knowledge of your rights will help you not compromise your case. This article will walk you through what constitutes a legal arrest and the rights acquired by an arrested person.
Right To Have The Arresting Officers Identify Themselves
When the arresting officer reveals themselves to you and informs you of their intent to arrest you, you have a right to demand they identify themselves. Requests for identification from officers should always be made after complying with any initial orders given. The request should also be made politely. Police officers identify themselves by revealing their badges and informing you of the police station where you will be interrogated.
The right to have police officers identify themselves protects people from submitting to the fictitious authority of a person impersonating law enforcement officers. Police officers are trained to respond to reasonable requests to identify themselves so long as they do not place them at any immediate disadvantage or danger.
Right To Remain Silent
The right to remain silent during arrest and throughout any subsequent criminal proceeding is a cornerstone of the American judicial system. Police officers typically inform suspects of this right verbally upon arrest. The officer also reveals that any volunteer information can be used against you in the criminal investigation and subsequently in court.
The right to remain silent is critical because it protects you from being compelled to incriminate yourself. Consequently, your choice to remain silent cannot be interpreted to imply your innocence or guilt. Contrary to popular opinion, choosing to remain silent cannot be construed as a lack of cooperation with the investigating authorities.
Right To Be Informed Of The Charges Against You
You have a right to be informed by the arresting officer of the exact grounds for your arrest. Before your liberty is restricted, you must understand the legal classification of the crime you are suspected of committing. Further, the arresting officers must supply factual information about the crime alleged you committed, for example, the place at and date on which the offense was committed.
The arresting body is also charged with providing you with a written document that details your rights. If your arresting officer does not inform you of your rights verbally and in writing, then you have been denied a fundamental legal right. It is important to be sufficiently informed of the reasons for your arrest to enable you to construct an adequate defense if necessary.
Right To Legal Representation
You have the right to call your lawyer or be provided with a pro bono lawyer if you do not have one. The right to access defense counsel is triggered upon arrest. Most suspects only breach their right to remain silent when asking for a lawyer once you request a lawyer, police officers, or compelled to stop interrogating you until they oblige with your request.
If you request a lawyer and the arresting officers do not comply with your request, any information they extract from you in subsequent interrogations shall be illegally obtained. The illegally obtained information is not admissible in court and cannot be used against you.
Rights Of An Arrested Person Under An Interrogation
Once at the police station, you have the right to remain silent during an interrogation carried out without your lawyer present. Also, you have the right to consult a lawyer in private before any interrogation commences.
Interrogations should not last for more than four continuous hours. Suspects who have a mental illness or any other serious disease have their interrogations limited to a maximum of two continuous hours. Suspects are entitled to breaks for food and rest during an interrogation session. Further, the police cannot hold suspects in detention for more than 72 hours without either setting them free or filing a formal court case against them.
If you find yourself under arrest, one of the best ways to guarantee you navigate the situation calmly and with wisdom is to educate yourself on your rights.