What are my rights if arrested?
By WORLDLawDirect [December 6th, 2011]
1. You have the right to be told why you are being arrested, and the nature of the charges against you (the crime for which you are being arrested). If you are arrested on a warrant, you have the right to see the warrant, you have the right to see the warrant within a reasonable time after your arrest, to read it and make certain your name appears on it, and to see the charge against you.
2. You have the right to be told your constitutional rights (commonly called Miranda rights) before you are questioned-not before you are arrested. These constitutional "Miranda" rights are:
a) The right to know that if you waive (give up) your right to remain silent and not answer any questions at all.
b) The right to know that if you waive (give up) your right to remain silent and do answer questions, the police can use your answers against you in court to get you convicted.
c) Even if you begin to answer questions, you have the right to stop answering questions at any time and to speak with an attorney.
d) You have the right to speak privately with an attorney before you answer any questions or sign anything.
e) If you cannot afford an attorney and if the crime for which you have been arrested has jail time as a possible penalty, you have the right to have any attorney appointed for you (perhaps a public defender), to represent you at no cost to you, before you are questioned, any questioning you may later agree to submit to.
3. You also have the following rights:
f) The right to refuse any physical or chemical test (such as a polygraph "lie detector", breathalyzer, intoxilizer, field sobriety test or physical performance tests such as walking a straight line or making other movements, the look-at-the-pen test or mental ability tests like reciting the alphabet or doing math), until you can talk to your lawyer.
g) The right to contact, by telephone or otherwise, a responsible person, to tell them you have been arrested and what the charges are. You are not limited to one telephone call if more are needed to contact such a person.
h) The right to have your attorney present at any line-up or other identification procedure in which you are cited by possible eyewitnesses to a crime.
i) The right to reasonable bail or bond to secure your release from jail unless you are charged with a capital crime. Usually a judge sets the bail or conditions of you release. If you are charged with a misdemeanor, and if no judge is available, the police may, at police headquarters, accept bail in accordance with the ruled established by the judge.
j) The right to be brought before a court as soon as reasonably practicable after your arrest, so that you can request a preliminary hearing to test the basis for your arrest and/or a trial to determine your guilt or innocence.