You can be arrested if a police officer has any reason to believe that you are committing or have committed a crime. Being under arrest can include being placed in handcuffs, getting locked into the back of a police car, and getting booked at the police station.
However, just because you’ve been arrested, it doesn’t mean you’re automatically guilty. And it definitely doesn’t mean you don’t have certain rights to provide you with legal protection. In fact, you’re probably aware of what those rights are, as they’re known as the “Miranda Rights.”
Your Miranda Rights
The Miranda Warning is what will be read to you by police upon being taken into custody. That warning goes, “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?”
Police are only required to “Mirandize” a suspect if they are planning to interrogate you. This means that an arrest can occur without a reader of your Miranda Warning, but instead it may be read before an interrogation begins. By not reading it, it can be seen as poor procedure on the police officer’s behalf.
No matter when it’s read to you, it still means that you have two primary rights when arrested in Chicago or anywhere else within the United States. These are rights you can invoke before any kind of questioning begins or even during questioning should you change your mind later on.
To help you better understand what each one means, this article breaks down both so you can prevent yourself from getting into deeper trouble when taken into custody.
You Have the Right to Remain Silent
When you think of the Miranda Rights, the right to remain silent is probably the first one that comes to your mind. Police officers don’t just say this for fun. You actually do have the right right to remain silent because, as they say, anything you say can be used against you in a court of law.
This right essentially prevents you from incriminating yourself further. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to talk yourself out of any criminal charges you’re facing. But rather, you’ll be more likely to dig yourself into an even deeper hole by speaking and saying something you probably shouldn’t have.
The key here is that you should never be intimidated into speaking to police. Yes, you will be required to state basic information like your name, age, etc. However, don’t let them pressure you into answering questions about your charges, no matter what they say. Instead, state that you wish to have an attorney present, which leads into your next right…
You Have the Right to an Attorney
The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that you are to be informed of your right to have an attorney when you are taken into custody and before any kind of interrogation. For this reason, you may want to wait until you have an attorney present before answering any questions from the authorities. Without an attorney in the room, you could wind up saying something that further incriminates you, only causing more problems down the road.
If you are unable to afford an attorney, there’s no need to panic. Nor do you need to give up hope! You can be appointed an attorney by the court so someone can represent you. Should you choose to get an attorney (and you should), speak up and let the authorities know. This way, you can wait until you have someone by your side before any interrogations begin.
The fact that you have the right to hire an attorney to represent you and that one will be appointed to you if you can’t afford it, shows just how important legal representation is. If you find yourself in any kind of legal trouble, finding an attorney should be your first step.
Remember Your Rights
If you have been charged with a crime, you need an attorney who is on your side. Don’t try to navigate this time on your own, otherwise it could wind up in disaster. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation so we can discuss your case and the options available to you.