If you’re approached by the police, it is normal to be nervous, especially if you’re afraid that you may be arrested. Facing criminal charges isn’t easy. One thing to remember is that even if you are arrested, you still have rights. If you are approached by the police, here are three rights that you need to remember.
You Do Not Have to Consent to a Search
If an officer approaches you or asks to search you or your property, you have every right to say no. While you should remain polite, do not feel pressured into a search. The only reason an officer will ask for your permission is if he or she does not already have enough evidence to legally search you. If you aren’t sure whether an officer has the right to hold you, ask him or her if you are free to leave. If he or she says that you can go, then you should leave promptly. It is within your rights to say as little as possible to the police.
You Do Not Have to Speak
If you are under arrest, you do not have to say anything that could incriminate yourself. Be careful with what you say to the police. While you may not think that what you have to say is incriminating, the police can use anything against you. You have a right under the Fifth Amendment not to say anything that could be incriminating. Be careful of what you say to the police until you have a lawyer that can advise you on what to and what not to say.
You Can Ask for a Lawyer
Every person charged with a crime has the right to a lawyer. Even if you have never talked with a lawyer before, you still have every right to contact one. Ask the officers how to get in touch with a lawyer. They will have to help you. When you hire a lawyer, look for one who has experience in your charges. Lawyers with experience are more likely to know how to build your case.
You have rights, even after an arrest. The two main rights that you should rely upon after an arrest is your right to remain silent and your right to a lawyer. When you’re silent, you are less likely to say something incriminating. If you are facing criminal charges, set up a consultation with a lawyer, like a criminal lawyer from Hallinan Law Firm, today.