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You have important legal rights if you are arrested

| Jun 23, 2020 | criminal defense |

Everyone has rights if they are arrested. These rights may be an important part of your criminal defense. Police arrest you if they take, seize, or detain you or indicate that they intend to do so. Police may search you and the immediate area around you.

Police can arrest you with a valid arrest warrant. They must tell you about that warrant and show it to you during the arrest or promptly afterward. When police arrest you in your home, they should inform you about their purpose and authority unless they believe that this notification will allow you to attempt to escape, destroy evidence or harm them.

Police may arrest you without a warrant if they have reason to believe that you committed or about to commit a felony, a misdemeanor in their presence. You can be arrested for a misdemeanor outside their presence if they have reason to believe that you may escape, injure people or property, or destroy evidence. Police may not arrest you in your home without a warrant unless you consent or there are special circumstances.

Police may arrest you without a warrant for traffic offenses including DUI/DWI, fleeing or attempting to elude the police, driving with a suspended or revoked license, or if they reasonably believe that you will ignore a traffic citation. Other grounds include failure to stop in an accident involving a fatality, injury, or property damage.

If police take you into custody, they must inform you of your right to remain silent, the charges and their penalties, that you may have a lawyer or that one will be appointed if you cannot afford one and that a judge will decide whether you should be released from jail. Police may ask your name, address, and routine processing questions.

For further questioning, they must inform you about your right to remain silent, that statements may be used against you, that you may speak to a lawyer, that a lawyer may be present during questioning and that a lawyer will be assigned without cost if you cannot afford one. Questioning must stop if you say that that want to remain silent or request an attorney.

If you request an attorney, police cannot question you further unless you agree to speak with them without your attorney. Anything that you sign or say may be used in your prosecution.

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