Fairfax Criminal Defense Lawyers on Your Rights When Arrested

When the police arrest an individual, it is because they believe sufficient evidence exists that implicates the individual in committing a crime. But what rights does the arrested person have?

As Fairfax criminal defense attorneys, we recognize that sometimes law enforcement officers make mistakes. Occasionally, they get the wrong guy. Other times, in their zeal to make an arrest, they can trample the legitimate legal rights and protections every citizen has against an intrusive government.

We believe that all Americans should have a basic knowledge of their legal rights. Here are some of the most important points you will need to remember.

What Are My Rights When the Police Arrest Me?

Contrary to popular opinion, the police are not obligated to tell you why you are being arrested in Northern Virginia (or anywhere in the United States), but they probably will tell you anyway. They may not use excessive force unless you resist and become a danger to yourself or the arresting officer.

Another misconception is that police always read the Miranda rights to the arrested person. The police officers are not obligated to read you your Miranda rights unless they plan to question you.

What Are “Miranda” Rights?

Stemming from a 1966 court case, Miranda v Arizona, these rights are constitutionally required before questioning to protect an individual’s Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. The interrogating officer reads some version of the following statements before proceeding with questioning.  You have the following rights:

  1. The right to remain silent. Always remember that everything you say to the officer can be used against you in court.
  2. The right to speak to a lawyer before answering any questions. Tell the officer only that you wish to exercise your right to remain silent and that you wish to talk to an attorney. Call Taylor Law Company at 703-385-5529 immediately!
  3. The right to refuse to consent to a search of you, your car, and your home. If the officer says, “You don’t mind if I take a look around, do you?” You say, “Yes I do. You do not have my consent to conduct a search of me, my home, or my car.”
  4. If you are not under arrest, you have the right to leave. Ask the officer, “Am I under arrest?” If he says no, then politely leave.
  5. If you are stopped for a traffic violation, you have the right to refuse to do all exercises, field sobriety tests, and even the preliminary breath test offered at the scene. You do not need to walk in a straight line, balance on one leg, or follow the pen with your eyes. Simply tell the officer that you are not willing to do so. You can say, “I do not consent to any tests except as required by the Implied Consent law. (If you refuse to do the breath or blood test at the station after being arrested for DUI, you can be charged with civil refusal, which carries an automatic one-year loss of license with no restricted driving privileges.)

Many people believe that they must answer questions from the police; the Miranda rule protects the individual’s right to have a criminal defense attorney present during questioning. If you are not read your Miranda rights before questioning, whatever you say will generally be inadmissible in court.

What Am I Required to Provide After Being Arrested?

As part of the booking procedure at the police station, the police will take your fingerprints. You may also be required to provide a voice sample that or handwriting samples that will be compared to existing evidence.

Do I Have to Participate in a Lineup?

The police are permitted to put you in a lineup with several other people who resemble you to see if witnesses can identify the person who committed the crime. If you have been formally charged with the crime, however, you have the right to have an attorney present.

The police may legally ask you to speak certain words during the lineup if the witnesses believe they can identify the voice of the criminal. You may be asked to say the words that the criminal spoke when committing the crime.

The police have certain restrictions regarding the lineup. They may not unfairly implicate one individual by, say, lining up one person who fits the description with five others who are significantly different in appearance. Likewise, they may not point to one person in the lineup and ask the witness if that was the person who committed the crime. These same rules govern when a witness is shown a selection of photos and asked to pick out the criminal; however, the accused does not have the right to have an attorney present for photo identifications.

If you have been arrested and find yourself in need of a criminal defense lawyer in Fairfax, contact the capable attorneys at the Taylor Law Company. We will use our considerable knowledge and experience to protect your rights. Call us here and request a free, no-obligation consultation.

+ posts
Translate »