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    February 25, 2015

    What are My Rights When I’m Arrested?

    A man pictured in a tank top sitting at a table with hands in handcuffs behind a judge gavel

    Being arrested can be very stressful. The last thing you want to do is to remain in jail. Your first thought may be trying to figure out how to get out of custody and back home. It is important to remember that you have rights when you are arrested. The way that you handle these rights can dictate what happens next with your case. Here are just a couple of the rights that you have when you are arrested.

     

    The Right to Know Your Charges

     

    Upon your arrest, any Greenville criminal attorney will tell you that you have the right to know what you are being charged with. There is a difference between being arrested and being taken in for questioning. If you are wanted for questioning, that means there have been no charges formally filed against you, and you are free to go. If you have been arrested, law enforcement officials must tell you exactly what you are being accused of and what the charges are.

     

    The Right to Remain Silent

     

    When you are arrested, you have the right to remain silent. No matter what the police officer says to you, he, or she absolutely cannot compel you to talk. The right to remain silent is set in place to keep you from having to make statements that may incriminate you. Understand that this is different from pleading the Fifth Amendment. Pleading the Fifth Amendment is usually reserved for the courtroom. It is important to remember that it is law enforcement’s job to create a case against you. While the officer may try to reassure you that it is in your best interest to talk, you really don’t have to. It is your right to remain silent. You do not have to talk.

    READ  How Our Greenville Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help You in a Preliminary Hearing

     

    The Right to Have an Attorney Present

     

    Contrary to popular belief, the right to have an attorney present does not start in the courtroom. You have the right to have an attorney present before you make any statement to the police. You have the right to have an attorney present when you are being questioned regarding any crime. This right helps to protect you in two different ways.

     

    The first way that it helps you is that your attorney will make sure that you do not say anything that may eventually lead to criminal charges being filed against you. Without a confession or statement of some sort, there may not be enough evidence for the prosecution to have you indicted.

     

    The second way that it helps you is because everything you say can be used against you in court. Your Greenville criminal attorney will have to build a defense for you when representing you in court. If you have made incriminating statements, or have confessed, it will make it harder.

     

    If you are arrested, the first thing that you need to do is to contact a Greenville criminal attorney to make sure that all of your rights are preserved. Asking for an attorney will not make your situation worse as some law enforcement officers will have you believe. No matter how small the charge is, call an attorney right away.