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What Are Your Rights When You Have Been Arrested?

Posted on in Criminal Law

What Are Your Rights When You Have Been Arrested?With people around the world protesting police mistreatment of people of color, this is a good time to educate yourself about your rights if a police officer arrests you. By understanding your rights, you can avoid saying or doing something that could be used against you in a criminal case. There are rules that all officers in the U.S. must follow during an arrest to ensure that the arrestee’s constitutional rights are not being violated. Unfortunately, some police officers violate the rules, which can result in unlawful arrests or harm to the arrestee. Proving police misconduct during your arrest could lead to the charges against you being reduced or dismissed.

Miranda Warning

Leading up to and after your arrest, a police officer may ask you questions in hopes that you will provide information that can be evidence in a criminal case. It is in your best interest to not provide the officer with any information other than identifying yourself. After your arrest, the officer is required to read the Miranda warning to you before they ask more questions. The Miranda warning informs you that:

  • You have the right to remain silent
  • Statements you make to the police can be used as evidence against you
  • You have the right to request an attorney before speaking to the police
  • An attorney will be assigned to you if you cannot afford one

If no one reads your Miranda warning, any statements that you make in response to police questions after your arrest will be inadmissible as evidence in court.

Illegal Searches

During your interaction, the police officer may ask to search your body, vehicle, or property. You have the right to deny the request, and the officer must meet certain conditions in order to conduct a search against your will:

  • The officer can perform a protective pat-down if they have reason to believe that you are armed and a threat to use your weapon.
  • To search for criminal evidence, the officer must file an affidavit for a warrant in which they present probable cause that conducting a search will turn up evidence of a crime.

Evidence found during an illegal search is inadmissible in court.

Excessive Force

Police officers are allowed to use force against an arrestee in order to protect themselves or to secure someone who is resisting arrest. There have been numerous documented instances of officers using excessive force on suspects who did not show any reasonable threat of violence. Unfortunately, courts often defer to the judgment of officers on when force is necessary and how much force is required. Once you are aware that you are being arrested, it is important to obey the officer and not do anything that could be interpreted as an act of aggression.

Contact a Crystal Lake, Illinois, Criminal Defense Lawyer

You should tell your attorney if you believe someone with the police department acted inappropriately or unlawfully during your arrest. A McHenry County criminal defense attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can file a complaint in court to make sure that the officer does not get away with violating your rights. To schedule a free consultation, call 815-338-3838.

Source:

https://www.aclu-il.org/en/know-your-rights/engaging-law-enforcement

Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
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